Ultra-low-power super-thin, re-usable GPS Tracker

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Nestwave, a specialist in low-power geolocation technology for the IoT, together with IoT connectivity experts Samea Innovation, has developed a super-thin, re-usable logistics tracker with multi-year battery life.

The device, ThinTrack, uses Nestwave’s geolocation technology to combine GPS accuracy with a low power consumption that dramatically extends battery life when compared to alternative technologies.

The tracker integrates an LTE-M/NB-IoT modem, antenna, battery, SIM, sensors and all necessary electronics into a device measuring only 82 x 35 x 3mm and weighing just 15g, making it suitable for tracking individual items such as packages and letters where accurate positioning would not previously have been practical. Because Nestwave GPS location is implemented in software rather than hardware, the tracker does not require a dedicated GPS chipset. This results in a small bill of materials (BoM) and a low power consumption that supports multi-year operation from a single small battery.

ThinTrack’s small form factor is possible due to Nestwave’s NestCore IP that allows operation from a miniature battery, and Samea’s expertise in integrating radio functionality into space-limited designs.

NestCore adds positioning functionality to existing cellular IoT chipsets by implementing a GPS receiver as software and using the connectivity chip’s existing radio and computing capabilities. This advanced location solution enables a very short time-to-first-fix, allowing for much lower power consumption without compromising on sensitivity or accuracy.

A secure NFC smartphone app is used to activate the tracker and to read the individual item’s unique identifier.

“ThinTrack demonstrates how our geolocation solutions are opening up new opportunities for the global logistics industry,” said Ambroise Popper, Nestwave’s CEO. “By dramatically reducing component count and lowering power consumption, we have created a device with a form factor that supports insertion into envelopes or the plastic pouches used for shipping documentation and makes possible accurate tracking of individual items such as packages and letters which would not previously have been practical.”