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Affordable, custom smart phone apps for commercial users

14 years ago, ENAiKOON was founded as the first member of the Ventriga Group, in order to provide commercial customers with custom telematics solutions.
Tens of thousands of construction machines, vehicles, containers and other mobile objects have since then been connected to the ENAiKOON platform

Teleservice Holding AG, a Munich-based company that deals with telecommunications service, was added a few years later.
And today we are pleased to present you ginstr GmbH, the latest member of the Ventriga Group:

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ginstr is a full sister company of ENAiKOON. Like ENAiKOON, ginstr focuses exclusively on commercial customers.
ginstr specialises in the digital collection of form data, the optimisation of work processes and the development of customised applications and business solutions for companies in all industries. This includes Internet connection and data transfer to headquarters. 

The focus is on implementing previously used paper forms as smart phone apps.

ginstr_app_TimeRecording_EN

We have invested more than 1 million Euros in this technology to date, making it possible to convert almost any paper form into a smart phone app for a lump sum of only 790 Euros.
–>This provides ginstr customers with a number of valuable benefits:  

ginstr_app_assetLocationManager_EN

Collected information is immediately available at headquarters

  • Current status information at headquarters at all times, in scheduling, for requests from customers, etc.: the transmission of collected data from smart phones to the office takes only a few seconds
  • Immediate collection of invoices for work performed
  • No more paper forms are lost
  • Filing must no longer be organised and arranged for the paper forms
  • The computer now takes care of searching for previously collected data

Better quality of collected data

  • No missing information
  • Information is checked for plausibility when entered
  • No data collection costs and no transcription errors from the form into the computer, as this step is no longer required
  • Electronic signature by customers and employees on their smart phone

Additional data that cannot be collected with a form

  • Images of work results, damage, conditions, etc.
  • Adding videos, voice messages, file attachments, GPS positions etc..

Data import and export

  • Existing data can be reused in the ginstr system
  • All collected data can be exported from the ginstr system for further processing in existing programs (e.g. accounting, scheduling, human resources, etc.)

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Since the platform was released about a year ago, a number of companies have already decided to use the ginstr technology.
Solutions were implemented in very different industries and regions of the world for these companies.
 

Below are some examples:  

Africa

  • Emergency call system for diplomats in Ghana
  • App for managing patient information similar to the German health insurance card in Nigeria

Australia

  • Monitoring the regular cleaning of toilets during the Australian Open, the famous tennis tournament

Germany

  • Reading electricity meters at a real estate company with approximately 2000 commercial rental units
  • Regular reports on the state of approximately 500 unused properties belonging to the federal state of Berlin
  • Collection of work reports with respect to vending machine servicing (loading, cleaning, maintenance…)
  • Timekeeping of mobile employees

Dubai (Middle East)

  • System for registration of participants at events, including admission control


India

  • Solution for parking attendants in car parks. Ensures that the existing parking spaces are only used by those who have previously hired them.

Israel

  • Work logs for hotel staff
  • Work logs for security guard employees

South America

  • Administration of 600,000 items of school furniture in Ecuador

USA

  • Reporting system for caregivers in a nursing home
  • Reporting system for a company that takes back leased vehicles on which customers have stopped paying instalments for a certain time (so-called Repo Services: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repossession) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repossession)

and much more. 

Several dozen typical examples of solutions realised to date can be downloaded from Google Play Store, from ginstr app store or from the ginstr website.
 
You can try out all the apps along with the associated office software free of charge at any time. Feel free to contact us!
In order to test ginstr apps that use NFC tags we would be happy to send you a few sample tags for free.

New: Security bag with NFC tag

NFC Security Bag including the NFC smartphone app for optimal tracking and storage with tamper protection – first look available at GPEC from September 9th – 11th 2014, Stand C67 in H1.

New release available now from ENAiKOON, NFC Security Bag and the coordinating NFC smartphone app with integration into inViu web, ENAiKOON’s highly secure telematics platform.

Security Bag with NFC
NFC Security Bag

Typical use cases
Security bags with an integrated NFC tag are particularly suitable for the safe transport and professional storage and safekeeping of important objects, including tamper protection. The following are examples of typical use case for these security bags:
• Confidential and important document transfer
• Transport of high value goods
• Equipment security policy for weapons, illegal narcotics, and other restricted access items
• Transport of urine and blood samples for doping tests
• Chain of custody drug testing
• Forensic evidence collection and storage
• Personal property bags for patients in hospitals or deceased individuals
• Inmate personal property inventory
• Chain of custody for expensive or dangerous pharmaceutical, biological or chemical products
• Secure data disposal to verify the destruction or hard drives or other storage devices with important data from banks, power plants, and other facilities which are not connected to the internet
• and many more


Lost or altered items are now a thing of the past.

Anwendungen_für_NFC_Sicherheitsbeutel_2
Anwendungen_für_NFC_Sicherheitsbeutel


Typical requirements
• Error-free and 100% traceable documented tracking for transport of critical objects
• Complete documentation of the contents, storage area as well as the responsible person in each case for the NFC security bag
• Management of additional information as needed for each security bag including for example comments, photos, audio notes, videos, electronic signature capture, etc.
• Evidence of tampering, changing or tampering with the contents of the security bag are evident and able to be identified

Features of the NFC security bag

NFC tag for tamper proof identification
The high tech NFC security bags from ginstr are equipped with an NFC tag and are more secure than the current bags on the market using bar-codes or written information.
With the NFC tag the NFC security bag and the associated information is saved in a databank using a smartphone app. By simply reading the NFC tag an approved smartphone is able to access all relevant data concerning the associated NFC security bag.
In addition to the collecting and reading the NFC security bag information photos, videos, electronic signature capture, audio notes, comments, etc. can be centrally stored and recalled later.

Consecutive serial numbers
In addition to NFC tags the NFC security bags have consecutive serial numbers that are tamper proof and stored on the NFC tag. The serial numbers are unique per customer and the NFC tags are globally unique. Thus, neither can a security bag be missed nor another organisations security bags used.

Tamper evident closure
The NFC security bag cannot be opened without destroying it. Attacks by heat, cold, or attempts to close a bag which has been opened are recognisable due to obvious signs of tampering.

Removable ownership receipt
With this record the owner of the contents can prove ownership or the sender of the bag that it is shipped.

Customisable printing
The NFC security bag can be printed with your logo and any additional fields as needed for your organisation.

A variety of sizes and optional extras
The NFC security bags can be produced in different sizes.
Standard sizes are 152×228 mm (6×9 inches), 228×304 mm (9×12 inches), 304 x457 mm (12×18 inches), 381×508 mm (15×20 inches)
The security bags can be produced in different versions, for example with an antistatic coating for hard drives and other storage devices.

Price
Depending on the quantity ordered the cost of NFC Security Bags ranges from €2.90 – €4.90 per unit. The monthly subscription fee for the use of the smartphone app and back end administration software, including data storage on ENAiKOON’s highly secure servers, costs €9.90 per month per user with a minimum contract length of 24 months. All prices are excluding VAT.
More information about prices

More informationen
Read more on the ginstr website about use cases and functions.

Open-source project OpenCellID reaches 5 million unique cells

OpenCellID 5 million cells

 

Yesterday, the open-source project OpenCellID reached over 5 million unique cell tower IDs! Thanks to contributors from around the globe, the project is closer to its goal of collecting every cell tower ID in the world!

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the project, OpenCellID collects GPS positions of cell towers using various mobile phone apps. The collected open-source data is used for GSM localisation, which, unlike GPS localisation, uses less power on your mobile phone, takes less time for the time to first fix (TTFF), and can be used inside buildings and remote areas without GPS reception.

 

The OpenCellID project was recently adopted by ENAiKOON, now the current project maintainer. The company’s managing director, Markus Semm, was drawn to its philosophy of using crowdsourcing to help improve cell localisation – a clear benefit for the general public. His goal is to continue to offer the open-source database without membership fees or any additional cost.

 

Some updates have been made, including the new UI on the main website that now shows real-time data, bar charts, and a map view. There is also a new OpenCellID Wiki site that gives general information about the project, lists various cell ID-collecting mobile apps, and provides the API. The Wiki site also has a Public Pages section that allows members to share their findings and start discussions.

OpenCellID_map

OpenCellID_public_pages

 

Contributing to the project is easy! Simply download an app on your mobile phone that collects cell IDs and take your phone with you wherever you go! The data will either automatically be uploaded to the database or manually. If you’re not already a member, check out the list of apps available, follow OpenCellID on Twitter, and join the community today!

 

OpenCellID is always looking for cell ID database donations and partners. Contact Markus Semm if you would like to donate to or collaborate with OpenCellID.

ENAiKOON and Toughshield to exhibit at Security & Policing event

This week is the Security & Policing tradeshow, UK’s only event for police, law enforcement, and security professionals. From March 11-13 2014, ENAiKOON will be exhibiting with Toughshield, a rugged mobile computing device provider. Together, we will be showcasing the benefits of telematics and NFC technology for police officers and security professionals. The combined solution using their robust mobile phones, our tracking devices, and our mobile apps will aid in improving mobile workforce management, operational efficiency, and employee security.
Security guard with torch in warehouse
The ENAiKOON NFC tracking solution for guard tour monitoring is a system that uses NFC tags, NFC-capable smartphones, and the inViu NFC-tracker app. A security guard going on patrol would use their smartphone to scan NFC tags mounted along their tour. The NFC tag data along with the user ID and scanned time gets transmitted to the inViu servers where management can remotely view the patrol details from any browser. Keeping an accurate audit trail is essential when it comes to building trust, not only within the organisation but with clients and other stakeholders, and this solution will allow security companies to maintain a good reputation while easily managing their guards.

bodyguards

As for police officers, we developed software that helps deploy police officers based on their GPS location. This technological enhancement allows them to efficiently manage their regional coverage, shorten their response times, and increase their safety. In order to better manage a police department, all the police officers need are GPS devices on their vehicles or, alternatively, smartphones with the inViu routes app. Another great use of NFC and mobile phones would be in the evidence room. ENAiKOON has a partnership with Security Bag, a patented NFC evidence bag. By identifying each piece of evidence with an NFC Security Bag, police officers are able to quickly scan the tags with their NFC-capable mobile phones to access tamper-proof data and track their chain of custody. Less time in the office means more time out on the streets! In addition, the use of smartphones is further benefited out in the field for taking pictures of witnesses, suspects, victims, and crime scenes with GPS coordinates and timestamps for easy management of evidence images.

polizeiauto

For all solutions mentioned, using reliable mobile phones with the right features is extremely important as the stakes are high for these professions. Most modern smartphones have NFC capability, though this alone is not sufficient enough for those who work under harsh conditions. Security guards and police officers require durable devices that can withstand emergency situations, and Toughshield’s R500+ is the perfect device. Not only does it have an IP67 rating, but it resists water, dust, and other microparticles. Try dropping it 1.2 metres onto concrete – it won’t break the screen!

 

If you’re attending the Security & Policing event in Farnborough, be sure to stop by ENAiKOON and Toughshield’s booth! We are always looking for reseller partners, so if you would like to set up a meeting with us in Farnborough, please do not hesitate to contact us. For further information on our tracking solutions, visit our website at www.enaikoon.com.

GPS and its impact in the world today

It was not so long ago that we used paper maps to navigate, yet today we use our phones for everything – including navigation. It’s hard to imagine a world without our maps application or navigation system. How did we become so dependent on this GPS technology? Why is GPS so important in our lives?

GPS-details-EN

Before we dissect GPS’s role in the world today, let’s talk about what exactly GPS is and how it works. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is actually run by the US Department of Defence, a project that started in 1973 in search of a better navigation system. Originally developed for military use, the system consists of 24 satellites travelling 19,300 km above the earth in controlled orbits twice a day. These satellites are built to last 10 years and are replaced after this time by a new one that gets launched into orbit.

To access GPS data one must use a GPS receiver. The receiver must be locked onto the signal of at least three satellites to calculate a 2D position (latitude and longitude) and have the ability to track movement. With four or more satellites, the receiver can determine a user’s altitude, making it a 3D position. This process of locating is called trilateration, where the intersection of three sphere surfaces determines a user’s location. GPS can determine location, velocity, time, speed, bearing, trip distance, distance to destination, sunrise, and sunset.

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As you can see, this wealth of information has benefited countless industries, such as transport, logistics, construction, security, government, mining, and waste management, just to name a few. The ability to track mobile objects in real time has improved productivity across the board. Sectors that use vehicles and machinery benefit the most, with GPS devices being able to transmit data regarding vehicle condition and CAN-bus. Fuel consumption and fuel theft can both be controlled using the right accessories and software. Being able to select the most efficient routes for driving jobs and analyse driving behaviour has helped companies save on fuel costs, which account for a huge portion of operating expenses.

GPS has unquestionably made a strong impact on how people run businesses, but it also equally influenced how people live. Our cars now have built-in navigation systems. We use our smartphones for directions while travelling. We ask our phones where the nearest restaurant is. It tells us where our friends are. Our pets can now be tracked and located when lost. GPS receivers are indispensable tools for geocaching and OSM mapping. As more uses come out of this technology, the more dependent we become and the more trust we have in GPS. That being said, this trust can be dangerous for some. People from all around the world have experienced GPS errors and navigation disasters. See how some have driven into a lake, bay, house, cliff, park, and sand pit.

What one can do to avoid such situations is to evaluate the GPS accuracy of one’s current position. As mentioned earlier, GPS positioning requires the presence of at least three to four satellites. This can be determined using handheld GPS receivers or convenient smartphone apps. inViu GPS details is a free Android app that shows the satellites in orbit, GPS accuracy, cardinal direction, compass, GPS time, and current location. When using GPS, let’s try to use our eyes and trust in solid data before driving into situations that can be easily dodged.

These mishaps are rare cases, and for the most part, GPS has proven its value for both private and business use. If you’re looking to enhance your business with GPS, contact ENAiKOON or check the list of case studies to see if there’s a solution for your industry. Otherwise, if you want to have a little fun by turning your phone into a complete GPS receiver or GPS tracking device, explore our free Android apps.

Fuel theft: detection and prevention

With no sign of fuel prices going down, fuel theft continues to grow in all parts of the globe. In recent news, Brentwood and Chelmsford in the UK, experienced thousands of litres of diesel siphoned out of 8 lorries during the drivers’ break. In the Philippines, employees of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority have been arrested for selling diesel fuel siphoned from their work vehicle. None of this would have happened if the vehicles were properly equipped with an anti-fuel-theft system. Unmonitored vehicles are left vulnerable to fuel theft, and the surveillance of fuel tank level becomes critical to catching thieves in their act.

anti-fuel-theft

Any reputable anti-fuel-theft system should monitor fuel consumption, for both fuel theft prevention and fuel efficiency. Continuous monitoring of fuel consumption and appropriate driver training can save 10% on fuel costs. With diesel thieves being capable of stealing up to €1,000 worth of fuel, a comprehensive system that can save fuel costs and stop diesel theft is well worth the investment for any company that owns a fleet of vehicles.

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Investing in the right system is exactly what one transport company in Southern Germany did after a series of fuel theft incidents. The company, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, chose ENAiKOON’s anti-fuel-theft system to catch their diesel thief. They experienced 10 cases in an isolated truck transport site, where they installed surveillance cameras. Even with cameras, the thief continued his work and the company was unable to identify the offender. Finally, the local police stepped in and monitored the site for several weeks, but even that was unsuccessful.

Their last resort was the use of ENAiKOON’s telematics solution. The system was installed on their trucks in the summer of 2010. The results were immediate. Shortly after the installation, the company’s management received a text message (SMS) alert, informing them of an acute deceleration of fuel from one of their trucks. Knowing that the thief caught the bait, management contacted the police right away, whom were able to catch the crook in action.

The ability to monitor remotely and in real time using their smartphone has allowed this company to react fast enough to stop the crime. ENAiKOON can also help with other fleet management needs, such as vehicle maintenance, driving behaviour, dispatcher communication, and driver coordination. Contact ENAiKOON for further information on how to stop fuel theft and increase fuel efficiency or check out www.stop-fuel-theft.net.

The effects of fuel subsidy removals in Africa

Fuel subsidy removals in numerous African governments have raised debates and upheaval in the last few years. Sky-rocketing fuel prices are, as a result, affecting the lower and middle-class populations. Consumers are subject to higher-priced fuel products used for cooking, heating, lighting, and transportation.

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Yet these cuts have been made for the benefit of the affected, as subsidies are often regressive. According to a recent study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), fuel subsidies are both inefficient and biased towards those who consume fuel the most. The study shows that the top 20% of households benefit six times more from fuel subsidies than the bottom 20%.

In order to counteract the rising living costs of the poor, some countries have implemented compensation programs to support those most affected. Gabon and Mozambique have both offered conditional cash transfers to those most in need. Ghana increased the number of public-transport buses. Namibia offers food distribution programs for the poor. Nigeria created youth and women’s employment programs. Guinea lowered their health care costs. The IMF stresses that these measures to protect the most vulnerable are essential to the reforms.

Gaspump

Zambia’s president, Michael Sata, announced their fuel subsidy removal last month, stating that it will open up funds for job creation and the development of infrastructures, such as schools, universities, and hospitals.

Ghana has completely removed their subsidy on petrol, gas oil, and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) in hopes to help restore their fiscal stability after a huge 2012 budget deficit. The consequence is higher fuel prices; Ghanaians will see an immediate 3 percent increase in petrol and LPG, and a 2 percent increase in diesel fuel.

Most recently, Egypt has launched their first phase of plans to cut their fuel subsidy. Since their economy took a downturn after political turmoil in 2011, they are taking measures to secure a loan of $4.8 billion from the IMF, which is only possible with a reform to their energy subsidies. Phase one is to distribute petrol from depots to gas stations using smart cards. The Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) hopes this will reduce fuel theft as subsidies will only be applied at the retail stage; fewer opportunities will be left for smugglers who siphon off one fifth of subsidised fuel to sell at profit.

With increasing energy costs, Africans affected by these subsidies must search for methods to reduce fuel consumption. The appropriate support from government and decrease in fuel theft will hopefully lead to more stable economies across the continent.