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Touchstar GeoConnect-Me

Touchstar ‘GeoConnect-Me’ is a mobile phone app that provides time & attendance functionality for use in remote (rather than fixed) locations. The user interface is extremely simple. Location is determined through the use of standard GPS technology and download transmission is via the GPRS mobile network.

System Functions

On acquiring the system, a list of pre-determined locations needs to be created within the Fastlane back-end software (more on Fastlane below). Mobile phones have a 5-8m tolerance when using their on-board GPS location services. Ideally the Latitude and longitude of a site should be researched and tested or captured at source and checked prior to roll out. This stage is in itself a simple process and, once completed, opens up the full user-friendly functionality of GeoConnect-Me.

GeoConnect-Me Once the list of locations and the physical perimeter of the site to be left is created within the back-end, the front end app will automatically recognise the location once the user is within range. The address details are automatically populated, so that the user has further confirmation that the software has recognised the correct location.

On recognising a legitimate location, the software provides instant access to a range of clocking functions.

GeoConnect-Me ‘Clock In’, or any of the other status buttons, are selected via simple click and a tick appears to confirm the selection. Once the correct status is selected it is transmitted by a single tap of the ‘Submit’ button. The information is transmitted via the GPRS mobile phone network and the Fastlane back-end is updated. The user is informed of successful transmission.

The system has built-in checks and fail safes to prevent the transmission of incorrect (e.g. out of recognised area) data. The system can also cope with multiple clients being located within a single GPS location, allowing users to select from a clear list of clients.

Fastlane Back-end Software

The GeoConnect-Me app is designed to interface with Touchstar ATC’s ‘Fastlane’ back-end Time & Attendance system. Fastlane provides the logging and reporting interface for the captured GeoConnect-Me data, with the screens below being typical;


However, the GeoConnect-Me app is merely adding a useful additional ‘remote T&A’ dimension to the Fastlane suite. The full Fastlane product is a powerful software back-end for T&A solution providers. Our enterprise partners providing Time & Attendance (T&A) software typically face two problems when considering new hardware:

Talking to the device - every device has its own way of working, as controlled by the on-board firmware. Software companies have to modify their code to connect with the firmware and take advantage of the features of the device.

Monitoring the device - given that T&A devices are routinely integrated with payroll and/or billing routines, a faulty device can have significant financial impact on the end user. Software companies have to constantly monitor devices and react to faults.
Fastlane offers a fast-track to solving both of these problems:

Standardised API - Fastlane provides a simple route to having a mixed economy of devices. Our software engineers have undertaken the difficult background work, producing a standardised environment that conceals the complexities of how to interface with/to each different device type. It provides a generic API mechanism for developers to use. They learn one language and Fastlane automatically translates their commands for each device.

Cloud-based Device Management – As well as providing the common API language, Fastlane also helps to monitor and manage the ‘health’ of the estate of remote devices by keeping track of which devices are online, gathering diagnostic information about devices and supporting remedial features such as reboots and firmware upgrades. Software developers can control the standard settings that should be applied across their fleet of time and attendance devices, and to co-ordinate the hardware estate of their customers.