Discover how low cost, low energy Bluetooth hardware makes the tracking of people and equipment accurate and affordable.
FacilityTeam’s Bluetooth RTLS technology outperforms Wi-Fi hardware by using low energy signals that deliver a higher degree of signal strength accuracy. Wi-Fi uses power intensive, strong signals that make it difficult to calculate locations, even between floors. It is like going to a loud concert and trying to judge the distance to the speakers. The noise is so loud it makes it difficult to judge distance or direction. This is why Wi-Fi based hardware will use secondary sensors such as infrared or ultrasound to try and attain some level of room accuracy. These secondary sensors introduce their own problems; transmitters need to be configured and installed for every room and they require line-of-site communication with tags. This means employee badges cannot be worn under lab coats and asset tags must be placed on the top/front of medical equipment.
Bluetooth low energy hardware has a signal that is detectible over 30 meters/yards. This quite signal allows Bluetooth antennas to accurately judge the signal strength which can be used to understand the distance between the beacon (asset tag, employee badge) and the antenna receiving the signal. And, the low energy signal does not travel through concrete meaning antennas will not pick up signals from other floors, a common problem with Wi-Fi technology.
Bluetooth low energy tags are also incredible energy efficient. They transmit their unique number every second but they shut down between transmissions. This allows our tags to operate up to five years without a battery replacement. Wi-Fi asset tags typically last 12-18 months between battery replacement, with some manufacturers suggesting they can extend that to 4+ years if motion detection is used to shut down the asset tags when not moving.
Finally, price is a huge differentiator. Wi-Fi based asset tags have a low production volume because they server a very narrow purpose. Bluetooth antennas are in every cell phone, smart watch and home automation system, resulting in billions of the components being produced every year. According to Bluetooth, 3 billion enabled devices shipped last year and 50 billion are projected to be shipped over the next 5 years. This dramatically reduces the price of Bluetooth hardware for our location tracking system.
In addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi other signal types are being discussed such as Zigbee and Ultra Wide Band. Like Wi-Fi, any purpose-built hardware will not benefit from massive industry support, production levels and on-going development that Bluetooth enjoys. At FacilityTeam we believe Bluetooth will maintain its low cost, high quality advantage.
- Better accuracy
- Accurate up to 30 yards/meters
- Longer battery life
- Does not require line-of-site between tags and antennas
Benefits of FacilityTeam’s Bluetooth hardware
- Significantly lower price
- No miss-readings between floors
- Antennas can pick up beacons and other Bluetooth enabled equipment.
- Mass production of Bluetooth components ensures future price/performance dominance.
- Bluetooth signals are already pervasive in the healthcare environment.