You'll have noticed I haven't updated much recently. Even when I did, if was with distinctly non-tech stuff. The reason being I've been busy. Not "I've got a big to-do list" busy or "I've had a couple of browser tabs open for a few weeks that I'll get round to eventually" busy, either. I've got a text-file to-do list that's been open, unsaved in the background since January 2017 and there are a couple of background tabs I've been meaning to get round to reading since late 2014. Really.
What's been keeping me busy?
Easy answer: HERE Tracking.
A couple of years back, a few of us got interested in how IoT devices could work with location. What's the smallest, simplest device we can connect to the cloud and pin point on a map? Within a few weeks, we had a basic cloud and at CES in January this year, we launched a fully-fledged product. In that time, I've moved from 'prototyper who built version 0.1 on his laptop during the Christmas holidays' to something roughly equivalent to CTO of a medium-sized tech company. Not bad.
What's it do?
In essence, a small IoT device with some combination of GSM, WiFi and Bluetooth does a scan to find out what wireless networks, Bluetooth beacons and cell towers are visible and how strong they appear. They send their scan to HERE Tracking where it gets resolved into a latitude/longitude and then saved. The best bit is that it works indoors and outdoors.
Look, we've even got our own shiny video with cheesy voiceover!
And another that shows what it actually does!
There are a bunch of other features as well such as geofences, notifications, filtering, etc. but the main focus is this large-scale ingestion and storage of data.
At this point, our original Tracking team has grown to include HERE Positioning (the clever people who actually figure out where the devices are) and HERE Venues (we recently acquired Micello). By combining, the Tracking, Positioning and Venues bits together, we can follow one of these devices from one factory, across the country on a truck or train, overseas, into another country, into another factory, out into a shop... and so on.