What on earth is a Geo-Fence?

A Geo-Fence for Bob's school

A Geo-Fence for Bob’s school

Well firstly, a Geo-Fence isn’t actually on earth, it’s virtual! Don’t worry, it’ll all become clear soon.

Have you ever had to let someone know when you arrive by calling them, because they have no intercom in their building, or it was broken. I seem to suffer that fate many times during the rainy season, for some reason intercom companies have never heard of rain. They must all be based in the Namib desert.

Have you ever had to call your office delivery driver to hear when he’s nearby so you can prepare his next delivery? I have.

I also have a young boy, and I like to know when his bus arrives at school, and when he arrives back home safely, I’m a concerned dad sometimes. Now as often as I remind him or the nanny to call me when he’s home, they seem to get distracted quite easily leaving me wondering until I call to check. There really should be a more effecient way of knowing these things. Well now you’re saying, why don’t I just open the app and select his name on the drop down list. Well yes, I can, and do do that at times, but sometimes I don’t have my phone on me, like when I’m in a meeting, or when I’m showing a client something on my laptop.

Well now there’s something so easy and convenient, that I can set it up once and never need to think about it again, and that’s called a Geo-Fence…

A Geo-Fence for France

A Geo-Fence for the whole of France

So what exactly is a Geo-Fence then? The simplest way to think about it, is to think about it is to think of a circle painted on the ground. This circle is also magic, when you walk into it, it sends someone an email, and when you walk out of it, it will send a different email to anyone you like. Now imagine that the circle isn’t painted on the ground, but painted on a map on your computer. In other words, it’s a virtual circle. That is what Geo-Fences are.

If you log in to the website, at the bottom you’ll see a Geo-Fence link. Click on that, and then add a new fence. It’s really easy to do too, you can move around the map and just click on the middle of an area you’d like to set up a fence for. If you need to make the circle bigger, all you need to do is set the fence radius. You could put a 20 meter fence around your house, which will email you when your child is home, or you could put a 500000m (500km) fence to cover a whole country. That way you’ll know when someone special has landed in a country being traveled to.

You can send those emails when you cross in and out of those fences, but you don’t need to. Sometimes you might only want to know when someone arrives, but not when they leave, simply change the click boxes as needed.

I use these fences for the following:

  • Like I mentioned above, I have a fence around my son’s school so I know that he’s arrived safely.
  • We like our office drivers to be efficient, so we often prepare documents that need to move when they’re still a short distance from the office. We use a 1km radius for that, as when they’re that far away, we have a few minutes for them to get through the office security and will often meet them just as they pull up to the door.
  • And of course I mention those painful intercoms. My folks have one that decides to go on holiday every time there’s a tiny sprinkling of moisture in the air. Now when I get close to their place, both of them get an email from me.

Do you have any other good examples on how they could be used? If so please mail us on [email protected]

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