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Richard Jones (MVP)

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The world of software is dominated with what the tech. giants tell their developers during each ones annual summer conferences.    Facebook, Apple and Google all have U.S events in May/June, with each competing with the latest sets of tools and technology that their factions of developers can build into their products.  

Normally there is a slew of new updates to the software that runs on phone's, smartwatches and tablets announced in the summer to entice developers to adopt these features but then released to the world in the Autumn.

Predictably before the official announcements there is a continuous trickle of rumours about what each company 'could' sprinkle onto our technology world. 


This year is no different and one prediction has stood out thats particularly pertinent for our industry.    'Loosing Stuff' or maybe put another way 'Tracking Stuff'.

Apple possibly could be combining the Find My Friends and Find my iPhone apps.  that ship per-installed on every iPhone and iPad.


Apple also wants users to be able to track any item – not just their Apple devices – using this new unified app. The company is working on a new hardware product, known only as “B389” by the people involved in its development.


So why does this matter?     Well B389 could well be a smart tile,  very similar to other competing products like https://www.thetileapp.com/en-gb/get-tile

As with anything in tech.   once one company adopts the other tech. giants will soon copy/replicate to their technology platforms.

The main advantage of the giants adopting this is reach.      If this new replacement find-my-stuff app. ships in September.    Overnight it will be available on well over 1 Billion devices overnight.

So think of the scenario,  you loose something with a smart tile attached and this army of 1 Billion devices, could all join the virtual search team to help find it.     Now that's a pretty impressive way to 'find stuff'.

The phone/tablet coming into range of a lost tile,  will report back the find and using the devices GPS,  can report back the find.

The interesting angle for Fresh produce is that if this mechanism is opened up to developers (which may be the case),   we can potentially have access to this data in our ERP systems.

We could literally tell the world of mobile phones to report back whenever you see a specific tile and report back its location.   This can all happen transparently and securely without the end user knowing the details of the transaction.

How handy would this be for tracking pallets/tractor trailers/in-fact anything....

Could this be the future of product traceability in the real world,  without requiring expensive bespoke solutions.

This summer we may well find out...

posted on Friday, April 26, 2019 9:11 PM