Interaction between insurance companies and their customers is often limited to events such as processing claims or paying the annual premium.
Mobiliar’s innovation management team wants to go a step further, which is why it is experimenting with LoRaWAN. It has developed FindMe, an innovative LPN-based tracking service for valued items.
Text: Actility/Tanja Kammermann, Images
Tanja W., 26, rides to work every day on her light-blue single-speed bike from Pfäffikon into the centre of Zürich. The bike is a British model with a nice leather saddle that she treated herself to in March this year. It wasn’t excessively expensive, but it’s one of her absolute favourite possessions.
Recently, one Monday morning when she wanted to ride to work, the bike was gone. It had been stolen during the night. After the initial shock, Tanja opened the FindMe app, where she could see a map showing her where to find her beloved bike. It’s all made possible by the small, concealed FindMe tracker. Thanks to the combination of Bluetooth and Low Power Network, she always knows where her bike is.
The innovation management team at Mobiliar developed FindMe as a preventive IoT service which gives customers a genuine benefit in recovering lost property and protecting and monitoring valued possessions. Thanks to the new Low Power Network, this means positive and regular interactions with the customer base are generated.
In 2014, Mobiliar established the Corporate Innovation team to investigate technologies and new business opportunities. The aim was to create new services to generate added value and regular interaction with end customers. The following year, this new unit focussed on tracking and location services, such as Track & Trace to protect personal property. In implementing a lean approach based on customer feedback, the team worked hand-in-hand with Swisscom. The first idea was a community-based tracking service. However, this turned out to be impractical in terms of both technology and functionality, so the Corporate Innovation team moved towards a strictly personalised solution. Having gained this insight, Corporate Innovation then decided to develop a user-friendly solution without a monthly fee, with a long battery life, and which could be flexibly used anytime and anywhere. As business and innovation partners, Swisscom’s specially commissioned team of IoT experts worked closely together with Mobiliar – from the prototype phase to the launch. “It’s our job as an ICT provider to help our business customers create innovations. In the case of Mobiliar, we realised that the potential of LoRaWAN together with the solution from our partner Abeeway would make the perfect combination”, says Roger Kaspar, Head of Sales for Internet of Things at Swisscom. “Actility helped us roll out the Swisscom LoRaWAN network and develop our own ecosystem based on this technology. This helped us meet the requirements of the first end users, for example Mobiliar.” Mobiliar was interested in using the national LoRaWAN network, which Swisscom introduced. “We are very happy with the support we have had from our technology partners. FindMe is the result of first-class IoT technology combined with our team’s expertise in digital innovation”, explains René Meier of Mobiliar.
Mobiliar asked Abeeway, the supplier of energy-saving GPS trackers, to supply 20 micro-trackers for testing purposes, whose performance immediately led to positive feedback and dozens more orders. Shortly afterwards, the project was approved by the company’s board of management and prepared for the market readiness phase. And so, in June 2017, the FindMe tracker was launched along with a special mobile app. Since its launch, the product has been sold several hundred times. “The tracking technology means we can protect valuable items in a completely new way – and that’s exactly what attracts most people”, says René Meier of Mobiliar.
Tanja found her bike again that morning, two kilometres away. The chain had slipped off when the thief was trying to get away, but otherwise the bike was in perfect condition. Tanja’s investment of 79 francs for the tracker has already paid off.
The top floor of the Swisscom shop at the Stauffacher junction in Zurich (Badenerstrasse 18) is dedicated entirely to the Low Power Network. SME and enterprise business customers can register for a guided tour. Interesting live demos and insights into many fascinating potential applications await. Interested? Contact Roger Kaspar.
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