Configuring Device Heartbeat

Some end users may ask for settings such as 'hourly updates'. In this case, it is tempting to simply configure the device for hourly heartbeats. However this is highly inefficient, and with some small tweaks we can get our device batteries to last FAR longer!

Our devices have smart adaptive-tracking functionality. They can use either accelerometer or GPS movement (device dependant) to detect when they are on the move, and update more frequently. It is common for many assets to sit still for relatively long periods of time (like for 2 days every weekend!). In this case if they are not moving, we are wasting energy acquiring and uploading new positions regularly - it gives us no additional usable information!

In general, it doesn't usually make sense to set a heartbeat interval to less than 4 hours

Instead, consider an example:


1. 24 updates per day (hourly updates)

For this request, we could configure

  • 12 hour heartbeat (default)
  • 1 hour updates when on the move.

This way, we get the required hourly update rate when it matters. And save energy overnight when nobody is paying attention to the tracking anyway! Or when the tracker isn't on the move. 

Affect on Battery Life and Data Usage

For an Oyster2, moving 6 hours per day, every day

  • Hourly heartbeats would give us about 1 year of battery life
  • Using movement based settings would give us about 2.8 years! A massive improvement.
  • Additionally, we will use much less data due to the lower amount of uploads.

How to adjust the update rate?

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