WHAT IS RTLS?
IoT, the Internet of Things, low cost sensors, software defined antennas, Moore’s Law and indoor navigation technologies have dramatically enhanced the payback and power of Real Time Location Systems. RTLS combine the benefits of sensors such as RFID with geospatial tracking such as “indoor-GPS”. RTLS is used to identify, track, and manage the location of what we refer to as the “4Ps” in real time. The 4Ps is an acronym for People, Paper, Products and Procedures, A “4Ps-RTLS” system can track and identify their movement as it actually occurs. ARS designs and implement RTLS systems using sensor technology to essentially acquire data for zero variable cost. This is a break-through in thinking. Some of the more popular sensors we interface to are battery assisted passive, active or passive RFID technology, Wi-Fi, Zig-Bee, and Bluetooth. Primarily because they enable cost effective adoption and rapid solution build-out since there are thousands of off the shelf sensors to choose from with passive RFID providing the greatest choice and lowest deployment cost. We also provide advanced location information which may include speed, direction, or spatial orientation. These additional attributes allow real time situational awareness for items of interest.
ARS implements RTLS to provide automatic identification capabilities using cost effective sensors, including RFID/IoT devices with the added feature of being able to see the physical location of the tagged item on a 3D computer generated map. This capability had previously been utilized by military and government agencies but the technology is now cost effective enough for commercial and nonprofit purposes. Couple with a user defined dashboard capable of drill-downs, pivot tables, animated charts and you have an informatics solution. By informatics we means a cohesive and comprehensive tools that combines data warehousing, forensics, data visualization and statistical analytics for an innovative way to understand your ecosystem.
For RTLS to function the location of tagged items must be determined by algorithms which vary tremendously by tag type and geometry. ARS is an expert in geodetic reference frames and uses this deep knowledge to perfect location by cost effectively using either one or all of the following means:
- Dead reckoning
- Way points
- Presence detection
- Choke points
- Virtual Rooms
- Software Defined Antennas
Thanks to the continuous trend of increasing functionality with decreasing cost, RTLS serves thousands of operational use cases which are applicable to almost any organization; for profit or non-profit; government or private. Tasks performed by an RTLS system include:
- Combine identity and location of any of the 4 Ps.
- Ensures permanent visibility at all times.
- Supports notification of picking or placing items of interest.
- Proves proper manning of operational areas, including any necessary certifications or endorsements which may be required for safety or other reasons.
- Facilitates the timely and safe evacuation of endangered areas.
- Facilitates marshalling staff and deployment of first responders.
- Triggers event notification based on an attribute of the 4 Ps which may include a geo fence.