802.11b helps to track assets in enterprises
Much has been made of the ability of 3G technology to pinpoint mobile phone users’ location, but a wireless LAN (WLAN) company is hoping to take those location techniques and adapt them to locating assets in the workplace.
Airespace, a Guildford, UK-based company which manufactures WLAN appliances and access points, is to release a wireless ‘tag’, which can be attached to any piece of equipment to help locate it.
The tag emits a beacon, which is picked up by up to three access points, which, using triangulation, locate where the tag is.
Airespace claims it is accurate to one metre, subject to sufficient WLAN coverage.
Its vp for EMEA Marcel Dridje acknowledges that it has been possible to locate WLAN devices using triangulation, since the technique was developed in 2003, but argued that this is the first time it has been possible to locate a non-WLAN device.
“What happens if you want to track a dumb device that’s not WiFi enabled?” he said.
“It doesn’t make sense to stick a WiFi radio on the device because it’s expensive. So what you can do is to stick this tag on it.”
The tag, which is a more advanced version of the RFID tags used in supermarkets, is matchbox-sized, and will cost around £70.
Dridje believes the tag will have more success in healthcare, for locating emergency equipment, and in the manufacturing sector.
His company is trialling the equipment in the British armed forces and at a well-known leisure park.
The Airespace tag has been developed by Bluesoft, a start-up established entirely to develop the tagging technology.