Keeping track of who is in a meeting, who is at their desk and who has ducked out for coffee can be the bane of the office boss looking to optimize productivity. The team behind Simple In/Out, a digital platform that automatically checks workers in and out of the office by tracking their location, aims to simplify the process of keeping up with an employee's whereabouts.

Available as an iOS, iPad, Android, Windows 8 desktop or web browser app, Simple In/Out uses GPS and proximity tracking technologies to check workers in and out of the office automatically, provided they are carrying their smartphone.

The system is based predominantly around GeoFences, a GPS-tracking tool that alerts an administrator to when a device crosses a pre-defined boundary. This automatically updates the digital in/out board when an employee enters or leaves the office, meaning a more efficient assignment of tasks and bad news for the staffer habitually the last one back from lunch.

Alternatively, the system supports Apple's iBeacon technology. A feature of iOS 7, iBeacon is a Bluetooth 4.0-based system whereby alerts are sent to an iPhone app if it comes within range of a transmitter, or beacon. In this case, downloading Simple In/Out's iPad app FrontDesk will turn the device into a beacon, updating the system when an employee (and their smartphone) are in the area.

The company says that the different technologies will suit different sized organizations. While the GeoFences option is geared toward large offices with many employees, the iBeacon-based system "is the perfect solution for smaller spaces, large indoor facilities or places where GeoFences are less accurate."

In addition to automated updates, users can also customize their status using one-click updates such as "at lunch" or "on the golf course."

For larger organizations, employees can be categorized into groups depending on their departments or areas of expertise, while data can also be translated to bar graphs and daily action reports for closer examination.

Simple In/Out pricing is based on the size of the staff it will be required to keep track of, ranging from free for systems with three or less users, up to US$79.99 for enterprises with up to 250 staff.

Source: Simple In/Out