Why Should Indoor  Real time location system(RTLS) be built on a flexible technology architecture:

by Vaishak C.P| Thursday, Jan 30, 2020|06:05 p.m.

Why Should Indoor  Real time location system(RTLS) be built on a flexible technology architecture:


Real time location systems are not mere buzzwords today. Its been doing things and changing the way organizations perform drastically. From indoor navigation efforts to asset tracking using highly sophisticated analytics RTLS solutions are addressing crucial pain points concerned with operations.  The advent of IOT and the growing capabilities of the environment offers various ways to setup a RTLS solution. Choosing between cost effectiveness and efficiency, there are few popular technologies being opted.


Radio frequency identification (RFID) based RTLS 


RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. These are small electronic devices that consistof a small chip and an antenna. The chip typically is capable of carrying 2,000 bytes of data or less.


The RFID technology system has 3 parts:

  • A scanning antenna

  • A transceiver with a decoder to interpret the data

  • A transponder - the RFID tag - that has been programmed with information.


The scanning antenna is usually affixed to a platform and kept stationary, other antennas that can be handheld are also available. These antenna’s Identify RFID tags when they pass through the vicinity, and the chip on the tags are activated which in turn communicates a unique information. Though this setup delivers good accuracy, the hardware and maintenance is expensive as well as difficult.


Wifi based indoor Navigation             

Indoor Navigation using WiFi is used in many places. It is a popular option as most organisations have an established WiFi infrastructure in place. The hotspots can be used as signal transmitters and the phones connected with the WiFi receives these signals, By evaluating the RSSI value the  distance and the position of the mobile from the hotspot can be located. However the limitation of a wifi based navigation system is that the accuracy of positions indicated are comparatively low.


Magnetic field based indoor location       

Most modern mobile devices have magnetic sensors incorporated in them. Utilizing these sensors and the unique magnetic field fingerprint of specific area that differs from point to point navigation can be made possible. The advantage of such a system is that no additional hardware needs to be installed . However any change in the site with respect to furniture metal parts etc are made can affect the accuracy 


Beacon based Indoor navigation         

Beacons are tiny transmitters placed at a known location to transmit a continuous radio signal with limited information content such as its identification or location on a specified radio frequency. Beacons uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE), also known as Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart. Beacons require very little power due to the beacons low energy and the phone therefore does not lose battery. Beacons can provide an accurate picture of where someone is positioned.

Though the efficiency of these systems highly depend on efficient software algorithms the hardware plays a key role in instrumenting the right data to be generated. When IOT becomes future, the implementing environment within your facility has to be simple, smart and scalable. Technology can be sophisticated but it need not be an inconvenience or trouble. 

Organisations spend significant amounts of time and effort to adopt  a new technology hoping to reap the benefits as fast as possible. Often the intended results are met but the maintenance associated with it gets complicated and moreover utilizing the infrastructure for another use case or scaling as such turns out to be impossible. Choosing a hardware setup for indoor navigation has to be with complete diligence. It should be made sure that the technology installed is flexible and easy to maintain. Moreover what you need is something that will provide a faster ROI and extend its benefits to various verticals when needed.

A beacon based solution comes at an advantage here for being highly cost effective and scalable with the support of intelligent software algorithms. Beacons can be easily deployed and maintained. With efficient products like the beCo map multiple functionalities can be made possible to make your organisation more efficient. This hardware setup equipped with beCo’s matured product offerings can help you in providing organization users with navigation, asset tracking, resource management , analytics generation, proximity marketing and various other initiatives.

Indoor location services are taking up the world and is the next biggest move to accelerate growth for every enterprise. The possibilities are vast and the capability that it offers are really promising. When adopting ways to stay ahead of the race and stay there always a valiant technology infrastructure is apodictic and the choice needs to be wise. (image credits: flaticon, freepik)

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