Bosch has come out with the TrackTag (Europe model no. GCC 30), a Bluetooth module that you attach to your tools, tool boxes, or other such things. When paired with their paid subscription TrackMyTools app, you get wireless tool tracking!
Since the TrackTag is an add-on device, and not an entirely different tool that you would need to buy, you should be able to use it with any of your current Bosch tools – as well as other brands’ tools.
The Bosch TrackTag is small – about 34 mm x 32 mm (~1.34″ x 1.26″), and weighs just 18 grams (~0.635 ounces). They’re 13 mm thick, or ~ 1/2″
Bosch TrackTags transmit a low energy Bluetooth signal every 8 seconds. The Bosch app on your smartphone or tablet will can pick up the signal when you’re within a range of 30 meters, or 100 feet, of the tool.
For each piece of equipment that’s picked up by the app, your smart device will then send location information to Bosch’s servers, in addition to time data, and user data.
The new technology also allows for supervisors and inventory managers to keep track of tools and equipment at all times.
Once a TrackTag is attached to a tool, there’s a one-time registration process, where a user manually enters the details of the tool and equipment that’s paired to a particular tag.
Software capabilities allow users to locate misplaced tools, report tool failures so that servicing or a replacement can be arranged, and check to see which tools a colleague might be using.
Bosch TrackTag modules:
- 10 for €149 (~$166 USD)
- 50 for €759 (~$846)
- 100 for €1490 (~$1661)
Conversion rate was 1 Euro = $1.11 USD at the time of this posting.
The quantity pricing is a little odd. Given Bosch’s published pricing, you spend more on a 50-pack than you would on 5x 10-packs, and packs of 100 modules won’t save you any money compared to buying a bunch of 10-packs. That’s unusual.
The TrackMyTool app requires a subscription package:
- Basic, up to 100 modules, for €30/mo, €25/mo with 12-month contract
- Smart, up to 250 modules, for €73/mo, €59/mo with 12-month contract
- Plus, up to 400 modules, for €110/mo, €93/mo with 12-month contract
- Premium, up to 400 modules, contact Bosch for a quote
So that’s nearly $17 a tag and $33 per month unless you opt for the 12-month contract.
There is no per-user charge, meaning the basic package of €30 a month remains the same whether you have 2 users, 10 users, or 50 users, or any number of users, who can access the web and mobile apps.
I cannot see any reason why TrackTag use might be limited to just Bosch tools, but keep in mind that there might be some physical incompatibilities or limitations.
For instance, I haven’t a clue as to where you could attach a TrackTag on Bosch’s 12V LED worklight. On the other hand, there are multiple places on Bosch’s larger and more pricier power tools where the TrackTag could be attached out of the way.
TrackTags come with a 2-part epoxy, meaning they’ll become a permanent, or at least nearly-permanent part of your tool.
There’s also an accessory pack, GCA 30-9, which comes with 10 corded tool adapters. This allows the TrackTags to be securely attached to the power cords instead. The pack of 10 is priced at €14 (~$15.50).
Each TrackTag comes with a CR2032 button cell battery, which is estimated to last up to 3 years. They’re also dust and waterproof, with an IP 67 rating.
- Web app is compatible with Windows, Linux, MacOS
- Mobile web app is compatible with Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer
- Mobile app is available for iOS 7 and Android 4.3, and above
ETA: Oct 2015
There have been a few other “smart tool” developments recently. First, Bosch came out with a wireless charging system – which we reviewed here. It’s a neat system that is mainly designed for their cordless drills and drivers.
More recently, Dewalt has come out with new Bluetooth-connected batteries. You can read more about them in our Dewalt 20V Max 2015 media event coverage. Dewalt’s Bluetooth Tool Connect system allows for battery pack charge monitoring and lock-out controls, and might just be the tip of the iceberg.
And there is also the Milwaukee One-Key technology, which takes their latest M18 Fuel drills and impact tools ands adds tool control, tracking, and inventory management capabilities.
Since the Bosch TrackTag is an add-on that is only physically connected to a tool, and not a part of a tool itself, it is simply a tracking device. Lock-out controls simply won’t be possible. In other words, you’ll know when a tool goes missing, but that’s the limit of what you can do. You will have information about where, when, and maybe who used it last, but that’s about it.
Then again, this is a simple tracking device with no bells and whistles that you don’t need. You don’t need to buy whole new batteries, you don’t need to buy brand new premium tools. You simply buy some modules, attach them to your tools, and pay for a service package.
I’m not sure how I feel about a paid service package. Maybe the service package allows for lower pricing, or maybe even subsidized pricing, of the TrackTag modules. Maybe there will be specials where you pay for a year of service and get a certain number of TrackTag units for free. I had really assumed that the app would be free.
While not a completely novel idea, this is the first jobsite-ready and professional power tool tracking system that I’ve come across.
I can’t help but laugh really hard here with my lunch crew, we’re on break and just reading this. We all agree, while all other manufactures are cranking out some seriously useful tools, Bosch is sitting on their behinds inviting useless things as of late. Seriously???, some fools might be interested in this lame thing but our entire crew has zero interest. Bosch hurry up and catch up to Makita and Milwaukee on a brushless heavy duty drill, stop creating useless crap. Inviting powerful serious tools would be the way to go, wireless garage is just that, garage! What the hell happened to Bosch in the last 3 years? Time to switch brands it appears.
I am going to agree with Todd here. Let’s be bluntly honest here, if a thief is going to steal anything (in this case tools), this isn’t going to stop them. If there is a way to change the battery, this item can be disabled and be rendered useless quickly.
Seems the shell is made out of plastic and that being said, may not survive impact attacks via a hammer or other instrument. Additionally, considering you have to pay for this service, does this even notify the police or even the end user should the item go “missing”?
Not sure how the pawn shops (if these even exist there) are different in Europe, but unless there is a way to verify this item is “stolen”, most pawn shops would buy this with maybe checking for ID.
So my question is, what are you really paying for? I see this being useful to a small degree to management, but in the long run, is this cost effective?
Stan, I really don’t think that these are meant to be theft deterrents or security measures in any way.
Maybe Bosch will come out with a companion device that sounds an alarm if a connected device suddenly goes out of range without being unlocked in the app?
It should have a speaker built in. That way you could at least find the tool, rather than just knowing it’s within 50-100 feet.
And now Milwaukee launches their amazing Tick…haha. You do realize that Bosch are more innovative than all the other companies combined.
Inventory is a big deal on some government contracts, and contractors are willing to spend some money to fix that issue.
But if it is useless as a theft deterrent, I doubt if industry would be very interested.
I would be interested if it worked like a locator device for keys. I’ve got a bad habit of putting tools away and forgetting where I put them. I’ve got a shop, trailer, and a van where the tools could be located. If I could use it to track a tool to within a couple of feet or a spot on the shelf, that would be great.
It’s a step in the right direction. One thing I’ve noticed on here is the amount of people that have had tools stolen at some point. Seems to be a big problem. I would hope that at some point (might be a long ways off) manufacturers have built in tracking devices into the tools that can be tracked via app and gps. Maybe even a remote kill switch like smart phones have.
These tools are getting more and more high tech all the time in their construction. Why not add some anti-thiever measures.
I can see how these would have their uses, but there are other devices that don’t need a subscription.
More useless tech ala One Key.
Tool manufacturers should be focusing their resources on producing tools that people actually want rather than gimmicks.
I wonder if next month Bosch will release a drill that turns on when you clap once, turn off when you clap twice?
Bosch is a fantastic brand but REALLY, this is what they come up with? They are the same people that came up with the ribbed tip phillips, which is a damn fine product. They came up with their quick release, which is the best on the market…then this? Someone fell asleep at the wheel on this one.
If it gave exact coordinates, I’d be all over this. Tracking down who used what and left it where coststime and money. Within 100′ location accuracy is useless to me though.
There have to be other systems out there that do similar. I know some of our crib tools (torque wrenches etc) have RFID tags on them – but they are inert and not active. They could be active (broadcasting all the time) but we chose not to do that.
anywho – neat idea – it’s not limiting to the newest models of the X brand of tool and it’s not limited to battery operated devices.
however I’m not a fan of the glueing on – better than nothing true.
Not a fan of the pay us to monitor and you must have your BT device on and active data . . . . . rubbish.
But I like the basics of the idea. just like I liked the basics of the dewalt idea.
You can install a lo jack internally into any tool big enough for a transmitter and its battery pack. I’ve been on a job where this actually caught someone stealing and led LAPD to a stolen tool ring.
I could see this being useful in large shops for tools that get borrowed and never brought back.
Great idea. love it, but to big to use on a size 10 spanner !
I need similar idea to put on my car wheels, been stolen twice, alarm system doesn’t cover you wheels. any help ?
Wheel lug nut locks?
I’ve often wondered why manufacturers don’t integrate their real-time tire pressure sensor systems into an alarm/anti-theft system to protect against wheel theft. Or do some already and I just don’t know about it?
Another solution: http://www.nanolink.com
Enter Milwaukee… https://www.milwaukeetool.com/power-tools/cordless/48-21-2000 #NBHD #TIAcrew