Geo-fencing allow an administrator to set up triggers so when a device enters (or exits) the boundaries defined by the administrator, an alert is issued. Many geo-fencing applications incorporate Google Earth, allowing administrators to define boundaries on top of a satellite view of a specific geographical area. Other applications define boundaries by longitude and latitude or through user-created and Web-based maps.
Geofence virtual barriers can be active or passive. Active geofences require an end user to opt-in to location services and a mobile app to be open. Passive geofences are always on; they rely on Wi-Fi and cellular data instead of GPS or RFID and work in the background.
The technology has many practical uses, including:
|Drone management||A sporting event can use geo-fencing to create a temporary no-fly zone that prevents drones from crossing a defined perimeter.|
|Fleet management||Geo-fencing can alert a dispatcher when a truck driver breaks from his route.|
|Human resource management||An employee's smart card will send an alert to security if the employee attempts to enter an unauthorized, geo-fenced area.|
|Compliance management||Network logs can record geo-fence crossings to document the proper use of devices and their compliance with established policies.|
|Marketing||A small business can text an opt-in customer a coupon code when the customer's smartphone enters a defined geographical area.|
|Asset management||A network administrator can set up alerts so when a hospital-owned iPad leaves the hospital grounds, the administrator can monitor the device's location and lock it down to prevent it from being used.|
|Law enforcement||An ankle bracelet can alert authorities if an individual under house arrest leaves the premises.|
|Home automation||When the home owner's smartphone leaves the home's geo-fenced perimeter, the thermostat lowers itself to a pre-defined temperature.|