Our story

It all started with a desire to help customers understand more about their businesses and evolved into a business that helps its customers achieve more around the globe.

It started with a customer problem

We are a team of technology experts who specialise in asset intelligence i.e. using connectivity-enabled location tracking to identify the whereabouts of assets—wherever they may be in the world—and highlight potential inefficiencies that can save firms millions. But what many people don’t know is that our story began in a very different place.

We’ve been established since 2016, but we started out life as a small team of technology experimenters, unaware at the time of what we would grow towards. We worked together at krow (formerly bigdog), a creative agency within the MISSION, and set up an innovation task force to explore technologies which could support clients’ objectives to drive sales. 

From theory to practice

The theory was one thing, but trialing technology solutions in the real world would be key to building a strong proposition and justifying the task force’s raison d’être. We challenged ourselves to develop a new indoor wayfinding method to allow for indoor navigation to help shoppers find products more quickly in supermarkets. “We began by looking at several solutions, coming up with an approach that used a smartphone’s camera to track your location within the building – we just needed to add printed markers in the building to make it work”, said Ben, who then worked with a major supermarket brand to test the capability.

The primary focus of the tech was to help customers to find what they were looking for in the store, based on research that found that customers are likely to spend more money if things are easier to locate. Another aim was to improve the efficiency around online orders, as they were unable to build bigger warehouses and so wanted to see if they could optimise the picking of products.

Discovered by the BBC

“So almost by accident we started to move into an area of tech that focussed on the location of individual items, to provide a benefit to a direct client and its end-user”, said Ben. “There was an element of serendipity to it, but from our perspective, this was exactly what our task force was about – having the nimbleness to respond to whatever challenge was presented to us, a process which gave us valuable insight into the factors that were driving the tech market.”

We published a blog about our new approach to wayfinding, which led to an inquiry from BBC producers who wanted to explore how the same tech could work in a completely different way – to track and explore the behaviour of domestic cats, for BBC Horizon TV documentary The Secret Life of the Cat.

Led by Ben, the team adapted the solution to include optical cameras in the house, accompanied by different infrared signals coming from the cats’ collars, allowing the cats’ movement and behaviour to be tracked 24/7 – providing data that was then analysed by animal behaviour experts.

From cats to jet engines

Involvement in the BBC programme gave our team the profile it needed to secure the major client which would help to further progress the development of our solution, and ultimately establish a business dedicated to asset location. A senior leader from Rolls Royce happened to watch the show, and wanted to explore how the tech could help them monitor their assets, to provide operational efficiencies.

While Ben’s team had been looking at asset tracking and real-time location systems for a while, they were considered challenging to implement, expensive, and not without their limitations. The team took a fresh approach and combined the product from the retail application and BBC documentary, using Bluetooth technology instead of the optical, camera-based approach. The Pathfindr product available today was born and has since been expanded, improved and evolved for different uses in aerospace, manufacturing, and other environments and sectors across the world.

As a team of problem solvers unafraid of venturing into new territory, we look forward to tackling the next challenge that our technology can meet.

And into Safety

When the world was hut down with a global pandemic, Pathfindr got to work to develop technology that would help. They invented the Social Distancing Assistant (SDA) which uses Ultrawideband technology to ensure worker kept a safe distance from each other.

It was a natural step after success with SDA (40,000 units were sold), to adapt the technology to keep workers safe from hazardous plant too. Zonr plant proximity safety solution was born.

See how Zonr can help keep your workers safe. Book a demo

Contact our team for a demo to see how easy it is to deploy and cost effective it is to operate.

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