Knowing the Many Parts of an RTLS
In This Chapter
Getting the full story on RTLS tags
Understanding how location sensors work
Apprehending location engine methodologies
Exploring technologies that enable RTLS today
Knowing the role of middleware
Using RTLS applications
When most people consider an RTLS, they immediately think of the RTLS tags, which are the most tangible part of an RTLS that most people deal with. An RTLS includes a great deal more than tags, however. An RTLS also has location sensors, locating technology and methodology, location engine software, the middleware, and the application. Each of these components must be versatile to fit the requirements of companies with different environments, different needs, and different applications. This chapter shows how each part of an RTLS works and offers some ideas for how you can put an RTLS to work for your business.
Starting with the All-Important Tag
An RTLS tag is a miniature device that’s enabled with location technology. You can use tags to locate the assets and the people who carry them. Tags must be small enough to be attached to assets or to be carried by people.
When you attach a tag to assets, such as office equipment, you typically glue the tag to the asset. Sometimes, people choose to screw or build the tag into assets, kind of like laptop computers that have built-in Wi-Fi, as opposed to a wireless network card. When you need to track people, you can have them carry tags as badges, wristbands, ...