The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by the rapid emergence and widespread adoption of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mobility, and growing importance of technologies such as barcode scanning, radio frequency identification, wireless communication, and GPS tracking. Inventory tracking systems utilise a combination of these technologies, depending on specific requirements and industry needs. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Cloud: Inventory tracking systems. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 2.5 million patents to analyse innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Inventory tracking systems is a key innovation area in cloud

Inventory tracking systems are computer-based systems utilised for monitoring and controlling inventory levels, as well as overseeing orders, sales, and deliveries. These systems aim to enhance inventory management by offering up-to-the-minute information on inventory quantities, pricing, and ordering details. Additionally, they can automate the ordering process, contributing to cost reduction in inventory management activities.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 70 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of inventory tracking systems.

Key players in inventory tracking systems – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to inventory tracking systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Walmart 93 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 62 Unlock Company Profile
Weatherford International 43 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 42 Unlock Company Profile 41 Unlock Company Profile
SAP 41 Unlock Company Profile
Trax Technology Solutions 36 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 33 Unlock Company Profile
United Parcel Service 33 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 29 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 26 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 25 Unlock Company Profile
Canadian National Railway 24 Unlock Company Profile
Omnicell 23 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 22 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 21 Unlock Company Profile
Fedex Supply Chain Logistics & Electronics 20 Unlock Company Profile
Standard Cognition 18 Unlock Company Profile
Accel Robotics 17 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 15 Unlock Company Profile
Block 14 Unlock Company Profile
Fidelity National Information Services 14 Unlock Company Profile
Extreme Networks 14 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fiserv 12 Unlock Company Profile
Automaton Marketing 11 Unlock Company Profile
PowerFleet 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mobile Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mastercard 10 Unlock Company Profile
Whirlpool 10 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 10 Unlock Company Profile
Outerwall 10 Unlock Company Profile
Coupang 9 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Tobacco 9 Unlock Company Profile
JPMorgan Chase 9 Unlock Company Profile
Assaloy 9 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 9 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 9 Unlock Company Profile
Divert 8 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 8 Unlock Company Profile
W.W. Grainger 8 Unlock Company Profile
Carefusion Germany 326 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Visa 7 Unlock Company Profile
Target 7 Unlock Company Profile
Zume 7 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 7 Unlock Company Profile
Stanley Black & Decker 7 Unlock Company Profile
Pathward NA 7 Unlock Company Profile
Inventor 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Walmart is one of the leading patent filers in inventory tracking systems. The company’s patents are aimed at systems, methods, and tools for tracking the amounts of merchandise being displayed or available for sale in a retail environment using measurements of air displacement caused by the movement of customers, employees, and shopping carts throughout a retail environment.

The disclosed embodiments may position air displacement sensors throughout a store and near the products being offered for sale. As the merchandise is removed by customers, a greater amount of air may be measured. Embodiments of each sensor device may be calibrated with a maximum threshold measurement of air displacement corresponding to the amount of merchandise surrounding the sensor. After enough of the products have been removed from the surrounding proximity of the sensor, the maximum threshold of air displacement may be reached, wherein upon exceeding the maximum threshold of air displacement, a signal may be sent alerting employees to restock the specified merchandise proximate to the sensor's location.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Dell Technologies and Weatherford International.

By geographic reach, Standard Cognition leads the pack, followed by AVL List and Answer Group. In terms of application diversity, Assa Abloy holds the top position, followed by Omnicell and Accel Robotics.     

Inventory tracking systems are essential tools for businesses to achieve effective inventory management, streamline operations, control costs, improve customer service, and make data-driven decisions that contribute to their overall success and competitiveness.

To further understand how cloud is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing – Thematic Intelligence.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.