Bosch unveils Bluehound asset tracking: today the tool, tomorrow the jobsite

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated Feb 20, 2018

Bosch Bluehound 1Bosch unveiled its Bluehound asset tracking, a product now in an open-pilot stage, during the recent World of Concrete show, calling it a “major step toward end-to-end connectivity on a complex construction site.” The cloud-based asset management and tracking solution will incorporate cost accounting, certification tracking, asset information storage, personnel monitoring and delivery tracking and end-of-day asset tracking, all customized to the end user.

“The concept behind Bosch Bluehound is easy: put everything related to jobsite management in one place,” says Eli Share, Bosch IoT and mobile lead.

According to Bosch, the company built Bluehound using input from people in a variety of positions within large construction firms, including owners, yard managers, technology officers and operations managers. Bosch says Bluehound integrates with some enterprise-wide software solutions, with the goal of building an end-to-end system that starts with individual tool tracking.

“We’re looking at the full scale of a project, from warehouse to job completion, and really understanding how those assets are flowing,” Share says. This extends far beyond tools (of any brand) to such things as vehicles, warehouses and job boxes.

It starts with an inventory of what the user wants to track and how he wants to track it. Information gathered includes descriptions, brands, inventory number, tool type, etc. Attachments can be set up for invoices, PMs, and will be visible to everyone within the system.

Tracking tags

The Bluehound tracking tag fits around a power tool cord. Other mounts are available.The Bluehound tracking tag fits around a power tool cord. Other mounts are available.

Included in the system are Bluetooth GCC 30-4 tracking tags, which enable users to determine the location of all tracked assets. The tags can be integrated with Triax Technologies’ Spot-r solution to provide “greater value to joint customers,” says the company.

Several still-to-be-introduced Bosch tools will have the tag embedded; however, the tags can be installed on any asset, including competitive tools. “With some of our pilot users, we’ve seen the tags used on scissor lifts, generators, fire extinguishers, even on brooms,” Share says. The tags are IP67 rated, capable of withstanding dust and water. “They live up to the same robustness as that of our tools,” Share adds. The replaceable tag batteries last an estimated two years. Bluetooth signal radius can be up to 100 feet.

The tags can be tracked via a mobile app, which Bosch developed in conjunction with construction cloud-based app and management software provider Procore Technologies. If a job box is tagged, for example, contractors using the Bluehound will be able to walk by the job box and the app will scan all of the tagged equipment inside, giving the user an immediate warning if something is missing.

In the event an asset is missing, users can also employ Bluehound to determine who has oversight responsibility on the missing equipment and they can know when the equipment was last seen. Right now, the tags are basically location sensors, but Share says Bosch is working with partners to see if the tags can provide additional information. The embedded tags inside Bosch tools will also provide tool control information, providing warnings such as kickback events, or if the tool has been dropped.

All new Bosch tools will have either the embedded tag or have the ability to be connected.

“We’re really trying to build asset management according to the user’s flow,” Share says. Although details of the system are still a bit sketchy since Bluehound is not yet officially on the market, Share says the cost will be based on a tiered monthly subscription structure, depending on the amount of tags the user has. The tags themselves are included in the overall system.

With Bluehound, Bosch is targeting large construction firms involved in complex jobsites. Still, Share calls Bluehound a great entry level asset management system, and says it can be scaled down to smaller users, especially those with multiple jobsites.

Right now, there is no integration between Bluehound and larger machine telematics, which would also indicate asset location. “We really trying to build the piece of the puzzle that’s most valuable for Bosch to build for our users, and then integrate other systems at a later date,” Share says.  “We’re looking to develop and grow the integrated jobsite technology offering. Bosch isn’t looking to provide every component or touch point under this strategy. We believe in the power of partnership.”

Bosch is currently seeking contractors that use a large number of tools to take part in Bluehound pilot testing. Interested companies can contact Bosch at bluehound@us.bosch.com.