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One significant advance in power tool technology involves tool tracking and controlling the output of tools. Manufacturers are developing and refining products that help managers track tool location with an app via cellphones and tablets. The same app can help technicians store settings for their tools to handle specific jobs.
“We’re just scratching the surface with the technology,” Fry says. “Early on, people grabbed the tool control aspect (of smart tools) to take better control over torque and the output of the tool.”
The Internet of Things concept, which refers to the growing network of objects that connect to each other via Wi-Fi, has arrived in power tool industry. Manufacturers have developed software that manages tool inventory and can store tool activity, such as torque. But as with like with brushless motors, the technology comes at a premium.
“We believe that there’s a lot of opportunity for connected products in the power tool space,” Keffer says. “People want to know where their assets are, and we think this is the first step to getting a connected product strategy going, and we believe the Internet of Things will find its way into power tools.
“That said, I think you have to do it in a cost-effective manner, because people, specifically professional users or facilities managers, are only going to pay so much of a premium for these types of features.”
Internet of Things and Power Tools Collide