Geofencing: 7 commercial and industrial use cases

Geofencing: 7 commercial and industrial use cases

Geofencing technology is a recurring subject in our blog because it’s so useful and flexible.

So far we have put greater focus on managing geofenced devices. But some commercial and industrial applications offer benefits beyond data and hardware security.

A virtual, dymanic fence

 
Since a geofence is an area or perimeter on a virtual map, GPS tracking tells us in real time when a device goes in or out.
 
The most simple type of geofence is a perimeter around a specific point. The diameter can be a small –like a house– or several miles wide –like an industrial operation.
 The most basic application of geofencing: a circle
 
However, it’s also possible to connect several points on a virtual map…
 
You can set up a geofence by connecting several points on a virtual map.
 
…or a specific route. The New York public transportation system uses geofences to show bus locations in real time.
 
Mass transit operators use geofencing to improve their service.
 

Playing around with fences

Walmart and other companies are using geofencing in a variety of ways.

With creativity and ingenuity, companies everywhere can come up with unlimited ways to apply this technology .
 
Geofences are a key component of Uber’s service. For example, the app assigns rides to the drivers closest to the user’s perimeter or location.
 
In 2014 the company tweaked its algorithm to optimize rides to and from Los Angeles’ LAX airport. Now drivers can only accept rides if they are inside a specific area of the facility.
 
Uber also uses this tool to keep drivers from clogging up parking spaces at the airport. 
 
Meanwhile, Walmart uses geofencing to drive sales. Its mobile app sends electronic coupons based on where users are inside their stores.
 

7 most interesting use cases

The applications are almost endless. These are some use cases of geofencing in different industries.

 
1. Ski resorts 
Operators can notify skiers when they are approaching off-limits areas and prevent accidents.
 
2. National parks 
Hikers download a geofencing-enabled app that tells park rangers where they are at any given time. This way, they can act faster in case of an emergency.
 
3. Elder care 
Nursing homes can set up a perimeter around their facilities and know if a resident wanders off. They can also track patients when they go to medical checkups, for example.
 
4. Warehouse 
Workers receive push notifications when trucks enter the geofence. This way they can have everything ready before it reaches the loading area.
 
5. Pet tracking 
This is a no-brainer. By fitting your pet with a GPS collar, you can know in real time when your furry one leave your property.
 
6. Construction
Tracking devices alert security staff if thieves steal machines or materials.
 
7. Movers 
Some movers don’t rent their trucks for long-distance hauls. Geofencing allows them to charge extra if a client takes a vehicle outside city limits.

 
Some of these use cases are pretty simple. But some highly complex industrial applications with great potential are starting to surface.
 
If real time tracking of people or things is critical to your business, setting up a few geofences might be what you need.

 

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Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Creative writer, culture & tech journalist, and tech-savvy in the making at Prey!