Smartphones boost remote monitoring

Dedicated smartphone apps are contributing to rising remote workforce management usage in Europe and North America, by allowing small companies to deploy solutions.
Analyst firm Berg Insight notes smartphone apps are enabling small and medium-sized businesses to remotely manage personnel without implementing costly custom IT solutions. The broadening of the market will contribute to a rise in the number of services available on smartphones from 800,000 in 2012 to 2.5 million in 2018, the firm forecasts.
Smartphones are also beginning to play a part in people monitoring, with apps for GPS-enabled devices. André Malm, senior analyst at Berg, explains. “Many parents have discovered free and low cost apps that can turn a smartphone into a locator device.”
Berg estimates there were 30 million active users of locator and location sharing apps in Europe and North America at end 2Q13.
Industrial locators still tend to be on dedicated GPS units with features including alarm buttons, and sensors that can detect if the worker has fallen over. “Companies and organizations in many parts of the world are also gradually adopting lone worker protection solutions to comply with occupational safety regulations and reduce employee insurance costs,” Malm says.