Yesterday we got some teasers on Dewalt’s Plans to Expand Tool Connect, currently very limited to just the Tool Connect Dewalt Batteries (see below) which turn off when they get out of range from the phone running the App and last location. At this point we can only talk to the images provided but Dewalt Tool Connect will expand to Cordless Tools, the TAG which will be very similar to the Milwaukee TICK (finally available) and the CONNECTOR which will allow any existing Dewalt 20V tool (no mention of FlexVolt yet however) to join the Tool Connect Bluetooth platform.
This new platform will go right against the Milwaukee ONE-KEY platform which has a few years jump on them for the tools. That being said many big companies have not made the jump to ONE-KEY or any connected platform. Also the Milwaukee ONE-KEY is limited to a handful of models with many of the new high dollar M18 cordless tools like SDS-MAX or Mag Drills or Press Tools users need to track do not have ONE-KEY capabilities currently. Dewalt may be able to make up ground with their CONNECT product to bring existing 20V Max tools into the platform, although we would be surprised if Milwaukee doesn’t launch something similar.
What this expansion does make clear is that the future of professional power tools will be in connected tools with at minimum the ability to track and disable tools if misplaced or stolen. Dewalt looks to be jumping in full force, we’ve also seen other brands such as Bosch launching new tracking products for 2017 which we would anticipate more players to come. With prices coming down and adoption increasing whichever tool brand can get the biggest slice of the pie will have a huge advantage moving forward.