Global Positioning System, or GPS as it's more commonly known, is a system of 30+ navigation satellites circling the Earth that facilitate the system's positioning capabilities. A ubiquitous technology, most of us use GPS on a near daily basis — typically for navigation purposes. Turn-by-turn directions from the likes of Google Maps or Apple Maps employ GPS to determine their location services and route guidance.
GPS is ideal for tracking and navigation activities that require location accuracy only to general site or building location. It's also ideal for any activities requiring real-time location updates of a moving vehicle or asset, such as a delivery truck along a highway, or a ship charting through a system of canals.
Within the Velavu ecosystem, the vesta GPS tag performs typical positioning and location tracking commonly associated with GPS, relying on the same satellites to provide location updates. While vesta's positioning is determined by satellites, communicating this information requires a connection to the internet. In order to do so, vestas also come equipped with cellular LTE-M and Wi-Fi capabilities to transmit data.
The second tracking technology employed by Velavu’s ecosystem is the lesser known mesh network. Mesh networks function in defined areas — created by installing static devices (anchors) in a grid to form a perimeter. Positioning is then determined by triangulating signal strength between these anchors and other tracking devices within the grid. Meaning, depending on how strong the signal is between the anchors and a tracking device will produce a location with much more accuracy than GPS.
The Velavu mesh network uses a wireless short-range communications technology that relies on radio waves to transmit information — similar to a technology we use everyday, Bluetooth. Short-range communication radio waves are standard in electronics that provide wireless capabilities like earphones, smartphones, keyboards, speakers, etc. A commonly held misconception is that this form of communication relies on cellular data or Wi-Fi to function, which is not the case. Short-range radio waves operate entirely on their own without internet access, using much less power than Wi-Fi or cellular signals would use.
In terms of Velavu's ecosystem, the mesh network is created by installing our pavo anchor tags to create the grid / perimeter the user wishes to track. This could be inside a building, outside on a worksite, or a combination of both. As long as the grid of anchors is created, the tracking area is limitless by placing anchors at 10 m intervals throughout the area of interest. Assets, inventory, or personnel that you're looking to monitor are adorned with their respective tracking device: the small form arda tag for assets/inventory, or the manta wearable locator for personnel. All of these devices — the pavo anchor, the manta wearable locator, and the arda tag — are all embedded with short-range radio waves to communicate with one another and triangulate position based on signal strength between devices as described above.
As GPS relies on satellites in space to determine location, a localized area within a mesh network would obviously be able to provide a more granular and precise location of devices within it. With a range of location accuracy from 1 to 3 metres, our mesh network is ideal for tracking inside buildings or facilities to determine the location of your asset, including the room and floor.
And while these devices communicate with one another without an internet connection, in order to update the dashboard that displays all this data and manages the devices and the ecosystem, there is one device that does requires an internet connection to do so. This is accomplished through a gateway device, outlined in the next section, not the arda tags or pavo anchors.
Reflective of the name, a gateway is essentially a gatekeeper, serving as the data entry and exit point for a network. In the case of Velavu, data must flow through the gateway in order to communicate with our cloud-based software and present that information to the user through a web browser or the Velavu mobile app — and vice versa. As our system is hosted and accessed online, the gateway must have a connection to the internet to function and facilitate the communication between the user, the devices, and the network they live on.
As we mentioned before, our vesta device serves a dual role as both a GPS tracker and our gateway for the velavu ecosystem. It is this duality that facilitates Velavu's ability to offer the fully integrated experience of both global positioning and the precision tracking of a mesh network across three types of environments - indoors, outdoors and on the go.
Within a mesh network, communication pathways flow from:
BLE tag (Arda) --> Anchored tags (Pavo) --> gateway (vesta) (graphic?)
Information must flow through the gateway as the network's entry/exit point. But within the mesh network, there is no singular anchor device that must communicate with the gateway. Data "hops" from one anchor to the next until it reaches the gateway device. This flow offers a substantial and characteristic benefit of mesh networks: the ability to self-heal.
If a wireless communication path experiences interference or drops out, a device goes offline, etc., the network automatically reroutes and hops to actives anchors until reaching its final destination. This provides an unmatched reliability of other networks, as the network will still continue to function even during power outages.
The Velavu advantage
The day-in and day-out of your business operations doesn't just stop at the door, and neither should your asset management and tracking. Velavu offers a distinct three-in-one asset management experience, combining both the global tracking offered by GPS and the more precise positioning of a mesh network. Typically, asset management systems on the market only allow users to track in one kind of environment, requiring businesses to not only purchase multiple solutions, but manage several systems that do not communicate with one another.
But because Velavu combines two tracking technologies into one fully integrated platform that tracks across three kinds of environments— indoors, outdoors, and on the go — we offer a seamless experience and significant benefits not available through other providers:
Tap and go technology, tap devices with mobile phone for instant install / device management
Automatic connection and transition capabilities across environments
(ex. transitioning from vehicle tracking to indoor mesh network tracking
automatically when truck arrives at a loading dock)
The ability to affiliate cargo trackers/sensors directly with specific GPS devices, enabling useful features like alerts when equipment or inventory are loaded onto the wrong vehicle or left behind.
Due to the seamless integration and automated capabilities of Velavu, instead of purchasing and managing three different solutions to oversee operations taking place inside facilities, outdoors on a worksite, or in transit, Velavu can do it all once under one platform — saving time and money.
How it works
How it works
Velavu creates accessible yet powerful technology that focuses on user ease without sacrificing function. This is all made possible by the foundational technology we incorporated into our ecosystem. To learn more about the tech behind Velavu, the following drop drown menu explains each in an easy to understand way. For those new to this subject matter, we recommend reading in the order we have below.