French startup Uwinloc has developed the system to provide 2D or 3D location within about 12 inches of granularity, using low-cost passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, and its beacon readers, as well as a hosted or dedicated server with software managing the collected read data.
Uwinloc, an indoor location system company, was founded one year ago to solve a problem at production plants and warehouses that was not being properly addressed by existing RFID systems. The company's founders, CEO Eric Cariou and CTO Jan Mennekens, both have backgrounds in technology and innovation dating back several decades. They launched the firm to develop a system that would help industrial, manufacturing and logistics companies track their tools, equipment, raw materials, supplies and finished goods.
Current automated locating solutions are available in active RTLS varieties requiring battery-powered tags, as well as passive systems that can detect tag location only within zones or as the tags move through portals. In the latter case, Cariou says, passive systems simply do not provide businesses with location information specific enough to identify where a tool, supply or finished part is located within a facility. Only the last seen data, specific to the RFID tag most recently interrogated, is available.
With most active RTLS solutions, the tags must be battery-powered, making them expensive and bulky, as well as requiring maintenance since batteries must be replaced. That is not affordable or feasible for most manufacturers or warehouses, Cariou says, if they want to track thousands or even millions of tagged items within their facility.
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