New Multimode Active RFID Tag

May 25, 2007
Tag combines ISO and Wi Fi capability.

The new multimode WhereTag IV, produced by WhereNet Corp., supports both ISO 24730 and IEEE 802.11 (Wi Fi)-based real-time locating system (RTLS).

"Depending on the application and environment, end users are realizing that multiple tracking technologies are required for optimal asset management," said Michael Liard, RFID research director at ABI Research.

Companies can use the WhereTag IV ISO 24730 mode for high-precision applications in indoor or outdoor environments, and the IEEE 802.11 mode for applications requiring lower precision in more stable, "radio frequency (RF) friendly" environments.

Enterprises such as automotive and aerospace manufacturers and distribution facilities use ISO 24730 RTLS applications to address the following business requirements and environment constraints:

  • Dynamic RF, high-multipath, harsh industrial environment
  • Need for location accuracy of 5 to 10 feet
  • Need to track a large number of assets
  • Operate in a long locate range: 300+ feet indoors and 3,000+ feet outdoors
  • Requirement for extended battery life

WhereTag IV can also operate in 802.11 mode to support applications in environments characterized by any of the following factors:

  • Stable RF environment (indoor carpeted areas)
  • Lower precision locate (within 30-50 feet)
  • Low-cost presence detection in stable environments
  • Dense 802.11 infrastructure

The WhereTag IV multimode asset tag leverages WhereNet's fully integrated RTLS architecture, which combines WhereNet's time difference of arrival (TDOA) technology to locate asset tags in ISO 24730 mode, and the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance part of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, which locates tags in IEEE 802.11 mode.

"Location-based active RFID applications have been proven to automate business processes and deliver strong returns on investments in a variety of environments," said Ben Gibson, director Mobility Solutions, Cisco. "Given the prevalence of Wi-Fi installations around the world, it's natural for us to team with technology providers to deliver location-based applications for enterprise customers. Furthermore, with the advent of ISO 24730 multimode tags, we anticipate accelerated adoption of real-time location system-based applications as they become a de facto standard for companies driven to continually optimize business processes."

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