Australian IoT startup Leash IT started life with a technology for tracking personal assets — from pets to personal computers — and is now expanding to tracking business assets with its LeashView IoT service.

The key to the Leash IT technology is a Bluetooth low energy beacon that attaches to the device to be tracked and that, in the consumer version, communicates with an app on the user’s smartphone. It also communicates with any smartphone running the Leash IT app, so that if the tracked asset gets out of Bluetooth range of the owner’s smartphone it can still be located via the global community of Leash IT users.

Leash IT’s goal is to create an international community that combines consumer mobile tracking with commercial gateways, and to encapsulate this vision it has trademarked the term “The Community Of Things”.

For its foray into commercial asset tracking Leash IT is focusing on healthcare. “Private studies have suggested that tens of millions of dollars can be saved in Australian hospitals through the efficiencies asset tracking delivers,” the company says.

“If staff are easily able to identify equipment location at all times, they can increase the productive use of equipment, reduce turnaround times, prevent loss and better manage inventory.

“In a surgical situation, procedures cannot begin on time if all necessary equipment is not in place. Similarly, in studies nurses have reported spending on average half an hour per shift simply looking for the equipment they need to do their jobs.

“Some of the most used mobile assets in hospitals are intravenous pumps and wheelchairs and they are often moved between wards. If nurses cannot quickly locate these items when they need them, it has a direct impact on patient care and work productivity.”

The LeashView IoT system it has developed to solve these problems consists of three major components: LeashView Bluetooth beacons attached to each asset to be tracked; Bluetooth gateways positioned to create the location grid within the premise to be monitored; and a browser-based SaaS backend through which the system is set up by the customer, assets tracked and reports generated.

Leash IT says the system updates asset locations every 10 seconds, can be set up at much lower cost than competing systems and is more accurate and can be scaled more easily.

In addition to the healthcare sector, Leash IT also sees a big market in the SMB space, where it says cost has put asset tracking systems out of reach. “We have been able to deliver a solution that can be easily retro fitted and integrated into any infrastructure for a fraction of the cost of current market solutions,” the company says.

“Combining a single back-end between consumer and commercial solutions gives us the advantage of bringing these two communities closer together to protect the things they love, like their valuable assets.”

Leash IT’s LeashView asset tracking system is a finalist in the Best IoT Product or Platform in the 2018 Australian IoT Awards being held at the IoT Festival on 4 June in Melbourne.