Playing off of the tool-tracking functionality in its OneKey app, Milwaukee recently introduced TICK —an independent tool tracker module that can be attached to any of your tools, tool boxes and equipment, regardless of manufacturer. The TICK isn’t the first tool tracking device to come to market. Bosch introduced one in Europe last year, and Hilti released a robust version for its tools at last year’s World of Concrete show—but this is the first one available in North America that can be attached to any tool and managed by a smartphone or tablet.
The device is 2.13” long by 1.88” wide and .5” high—so it’s a relatively low-profile piece—and is weather, water, dust, and impact resistant. Each TICK is laser-engraved with a serial number and is intended to be mounted on tools and equipment in a place that’s out of view. It has a flat back and can be attached via epoxy, #8 pan-head self-tapping screws, 5/32"-diameter rivets, cable or zip ties, and keyring to virtually anything you want to keep track of. The unit communicates via Bluetooth with the OneKey app that is in range (within 100 ft.). The device is powered by a replaceable CR2032 3V Lithium-ion coin cell battery, which the manufacturer says has a runtime of 1 year. As with all coin cell batteries, temperature swings and extreme high or low temperatures for prolonged periods of time may draw down the battery faster; the recommended ambient temperature range is -20°F to 140°F. Battery status is indicated within OneKey (in % only; I installed one two weeks ago on a tool and it now reads 93%). OneKey will initiate a notification when battery life drops below 20% and then a final notification when battery life drops to 5%.
Once connected to the OneKey app, each TICK can also be tracked and can be assigned a manufacturer, product description, model #, category, person, trade, location (that is, shop or job name), tool #, serial #, status (available, damaged, missing, or retired), purchase information, as well as service reminders. The TICK automatically communicates with the respective registered OneKey app each time it comes in contact with it, providing “last seen” status on a map within the app that you can also view in satellite mode. You can report a TICK missing (and thereby the tools or equipment it’s attached to). Doing so will put it in a "discoverable" mode that will ping nearby OneKey apps, and then provide its location.