Bosch USA has started promoting their BlueHound service on their website – tool and asset tracking technology that they claim has numerous competitive advantages.
BlueHound isn’t exactly new – my email history shows that this was buried within prior year’s World of Concrete announcements, but this is the first time I have ever seen Bosch actively promoting it.
Bosch’s tracker tags are based on Bluetooth technology, similar to existing Milwaukee One-Key and Dewalt Tool Connect systems. There is one exception – Bosch BlueHound is going to be a fee-based subscription service.
Whereas Bosch requires a paid subscription contract, other professional power tool brands’ tool and asset tracking systems only require an initial investment in tracker tags. All Bluetooth-based systems require an app to be installed on users’ mobile devices.
Bosch has a chart that claims multiple benefits over competitors’ asset tracking technologies. The chart suggests that Bosch BlueHound will deliver competitive advantages by way of added features, such as document storage, asset status, and “consumables.”
They sum up the service as:
The Bosch Bluehound asset management system is a tiered monthly contract that corresponds to the amount of tags a company utilizes for tracking assets, inclusive of software and replacement tags.
I would have thought that a paid service would involve GPS tracking or similar, but it seems that Bosch’s BlueHound is only Bluetooth-based, similar to other brands’ trackers.
Here is what they say about the Bluetooth tracking range:
Tests have shown that the Bluetooth radius can be up to 100ft (30 meters), depending on the environment. The range depends on various factors such as the smartphone model or potential sources of interference in your current environment at the site and in the workshop.
And here is what they say about the network of devices that receive the Bluetooth signal:
The Bluetooth signal of the GCC 30-4 Professional can only be received by smartphones with Bluehound Mobile application installed.
What this means is that Bosch BlueHound will depend on its users to create a tracking network through the installation and use of their smartphone app. Similar requirements have limited the effectiveness of other brands’ location-tracking networks, and is likely to shape Bosch’s location tracking network as well.
Existing Bluetooth-based tracking tags work by pinging smartphones, and so the higher the number and broader the spread of app installations, the larger and broader the tracking network.
At this time, tool tracking technologies only work with the respective brands’ apps, and do not detect other brands’ trackers. That is, Bosch BlueHound app can only detect Bosch’s own tracking tags.
Bosch USA does not provide much information about the new Bluehound tracking tags, but they appear identical in size and shape to the TrackTags that Bosch released in Europe.
Would you or your company use Bosch BlueHound paid-subscription Bluetooth trackers? What if this was a free service like Milwaukee One-Key or Dewalt Tool Connect?