Indoor location tracking technology has become an imperative and must-have solution for big venues. Nowadays, corporate academia, airports, medical facilities, and shopping malls are crowded with visitors socializing with their locations. Users create data about how they feel places and data that could streamline processes and push better results. These places can benefit from highly optimized GPS, BLE beacons, Wi-Fi, radio frequency identification (RFID), and near-field communication (NFC). The comprehensive advantages of indoor tracking are endless: lower operational costs, better coverage, arrangement optimization, and many. Though, tracking assets indoors is application-specific and much complicated. Let’s see some technologies that could help you perform an indoor tracking solution in this overview- A Glimpse at Indoor Location Tracking systems:
Let’s see first the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. GPS has become universal. This technology is based on a constellation of 24 satellites in one of six orbits circling the earth.GPS satellites send radio signals providing their locations, status, and exact time. Once the receiver in a GPS-enabled device recognizes its range from at least four satellites, it applies geometry to define its position on earth. The GPS base is entirely universal, but nearly all new smart devices also have GPS at their fingertips. Several IoT real-time asset tracking applications are now feasible with the GPS. But, GPS still tries in one real application—indoor tracking. As GPS signals may not be able to penetrate through constructed structures, GPS technology fails to monitor well indoors. You can use an indoor gateway to support signals and provide more precise positions. It can be used for employees for GPS tracking, for example, if your caretakers or cleaners have maps between many places that require to be followed in addition to indoor maps at a single location. The accurate indoor location tracking solution relies on your business’s purposes, existing infrastructure, and constraints.
Beacons are small wireless devices that send signals using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a power-friendly variant of conventional Bluetooth. Nearby smart devices receive these signals, prompt responses, and report analytics through mobile apps based on device proximity.
In addition to tracking employees, beacons are used to quietly inform operators and administrators of contextual information and send peer-to-peer messages.
Wi-Fi is a fixed access point giving time and signal strength-based information about a device at a given instance and then sending it to a software to calculate the position of a device. Wi-Fi implementations need multiple access points, to precisely locate an object that is under tracking.
Wi-Fi is generally adopted for indoor location tracking as it operates with virtual building infrastructures, and is simple to connect to a location point.
Radiofrequency identification, generally recognized as RFID, is a wireless communication that manages radio waves to know and track items. An RFID location tracking system includes tags, readers that interact with each other utilizing radio waves, reader control, and application software. For example, RFID based indoor tracking is developed by Teksun to keep track of any device, any person, or any animal inside the premises. This system stands to integrate two modules: an RFID beacon that would send the data and an RFID receiver to collect the data.
Near-field communication (NFC) is usually identified for its excellence in payments and carrier ticketing, e.g., subway cards. NFC is a low-cost alternative to track assets and maintain inventory. The advantage of NFC is that it can use passive tags on the devices you want to track. These low-cost cards include stickers, including information to be read or read/write functionality based on tag type. Low-cost NFC has become a more efficient replacement for bar-code scanning technologies used by the companies previously for tracking objects.
Basically, NFC can be utilized on one-way communication or two-way communication. But as per the name suggested, NFC is a near field communication system, which only works within a four-inch range. It is used for the protected delivery of information between two people or between a person and an object.
Various technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE), RFID, NFC, GPS, etc., can be used to track assets indoors. But, indoor tracking is challenging as precision limitations because of the underlying technology and changing indoor conditions. Techniques like sensor fusion and empirical models can consider these issues, but strong and flexible deployments continue a critical challenge. Indoor tracking has many impressive and required use cases. We hope to see more applications shortly.
Get an up-close glimpse at RFID Based Indoor Tracking and schedule a free demo. We’ll talk regarding how it can address your company’s particular indoor location tracking requirements.