It’s Brian and David here and we want to share what we’ve built — ultra thin Bluetooth labels called Got-it (https://got-it.com). It’s like Tile, but for B2B or Enterprise.
Got-it is for tracking things at work as a team. Simply peel and stick, no different from a barcode sticker. But, these are active Bluetooth labels. They're flexible and roughly the size of a little Avery barcode label (28mm x 76mm) and less than 0.5mm thick. They communicate with the phones already in employee pockets, even in background mode. That means no scanning like RFID, and no readers or gateway infrastructure to install in the ceiling or the doorways.
A few photos here: (https://imgur.com/gallery/rApt25P)
We started Got-it as a solution for all that really simple stuff that went missing at home. There were loads of little things, like iPhone charger cables or even Chapstick, that when forgotten or went missing, made life a little difficult. Sure, I could put a Bluetooth tracker on everything… but they’re expensive and a little clunky, especially for a $1.99 stick of Chapstick. The reality though, is that when stuff around the house goes missing, it’s just kinda annoying. At work, it’s a different ballgame. It costs money.
Here’s how it works for businesses. Anyone at work sticks a label on shared things like tools, equipment, storage boxes, or packages to ship. By everyone just walking around as normal, in a warehouse, factory, or campus, the Got-it app picks up a beacon from the labels. The location of the item (within an approximate 10 meter zone) and who it’s been with, is then shared with the team if a coworker needs to know.
Our integrated software stack makes it happen. We stumbled on a way to make our Bluetooth beacon firmware more reliably trigger background processing in phones, while still preserving ultra low power consumption. To do so, we ended up writing low-level embedded code, in less than 1.5KB and 135 Bytes RAM, to control the radio registers directly, without a BLE stack. Phones receive just enough information from our labels to enable a lean, low-power positioning algorithm we wrote.
The labels we make ourselves, in house, here in the USA and UK. It’s a reel-to-reel manufacturing process (like making tape) that we developed. We’re printing circuits using coatings on thin films. We can create passive components, like inductors and capacitors using these inks and laminates by taking advantage of the thin geometry of the substrate itself. Our bill of materials is just a few lines long, so sourcing in China isn’t needed.
We also came up with a way of electrochemically coating our circuit to form our own battery source that lasts over a year. That’s particularly why we decided to keep the manufacturing in-house. The process is fully automated, involving just the machine we built, and an operator. It just didn’t make sense to hand over the manufacturing IP to a contract manufacturer or outsource this to China.
Manufacturing ourselves, locally, also helps in avoiding tariffs and contract manufacturing mark-ups. That’s key since the labels will be sold in volume at very small margins. The company makes money from a recurring SW model around asset and inventory tracking services. Note, the $99 pricing for ten labels on our website is just for the kit to get started today with your company team. Our target cost at scale will be less than $1.
We just ran our first pre-production lot, and are pre-launching with some inventory to ship right away. It’d be great to learn your thoughts on how Got-its might work for you or applications we might be missing. We’re ramping our manufacturing line into higher volume production in the Spring of next year. Keep tabs on our twitter @realGot_it for launch announcements.
Thanks in advance! Brian