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Electronic Specifier: AirFinder OnSite asset tracking with sub-meter accuracy

Electronic Specifier: AirFinder OnSite asset tracking with sub-meter accuracy

Mar 15, 2021 12:09:00 PM

Link Labs has announced the release of AirFinder OnSite, its next-generation IoT asset tracking platform for campus-based environments that improves accuracy and affordability. AirFinder OnSite is a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) that provides sub-meter accuracy by using a Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) radio to support both Bluetooth LE and phase ranging.

Link Labs will officially unveil AirFinder OnSite in a free webinar on March 18, 2021 at 1:00pm ET. Link Labs is initially offering AirFinder OnSite to early technology adopters through the company’s AirFinder Early Access Program. General availability is expected in Summer 2021.

“AirFinder OnSite represents a significant leap forward for real-time asset location and tracking technology and we’re very excited to be first to market with an enterprise solution that uses phase ranging to bring location accuracy with Bluetooth LE tags to the sub-meter level – to within an arm’s length,” said Bob Proctor, CEO of Link Labs.

“We’ve also successfully driven infrastructure and tag costs out of the platform, which makes AirFinder OnSite the first to eliminate the need to choose between high cost/high accuracy ultra-wideband solutions or low cost/low accuracy traditional Bluetooth LE solutions – both high accuracy and low cost are now attainable for companies of all sizes.”

AirFinder OnSite is ideal for IoT tracking in distribution centers and warehouses. It’s also suitable for various IoT applications in manufacturing, healthcare and supply chain and logistics management, among others. With seven patented or patent-pending Link Labs technologies, AirFinder OnSite was developed on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52833, a general-purpose multiprotocol SoC (system-on-chip) with a Bluetooth LE Direction Finding capable radio.

AirFinder OnSite features:

  • Accuracy everywhere at the sub-meter level: AirFinder OnSite features numerous innovations at the firmware level that cover an array of technical challenges that need to be met for an enterprise grade solution – including ranging methodology, interference avoidance, location algorithm, power efficiency and scalability to high tag densities. Together, these innovations allow asset location to be fine-tuned to the sub-meter level, making it the most precise Bluetooth-based location technology available.
  • Improved battery life at the tag level: With Link Labs’ proprietary eXtreme Low Energy (XLE) innovation to determine location, battery life of tags has been extended by more than 400%, or approximately one to two years without needing replacement, compared to proximity-based location systems. This allows tags with very small batteries to last for up to three years for use cases such as finding assets in large manufacturing or distribution environments. Small items such as tools and calibrated instruments can now be tracked as easily as carts, inventory and work-in-process.
  • Reduced latency: AirFinder OnSite's phase-ranging and location determination process take place on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52833, requiring less than 1/20th of a second. This allows use cases with very low latency requirements to be met, such as fork-lift tracking or fast alerting when assets leave an internally geofenced area.
  • Reduced cost: AirFinder OnSite achieves a fractional infrastructure cost compared to industry alternatives when high accuracy is needed everywhere, with savings of up to 90% possible. Because asset location is determined on the tag, low-cost low bandwidth infrastructure can be used for data backhaul, reducing system costs. Further, with unprecedented power efficiency and high accuracy coming from a wide array of standard, low-cost Bluetooth LE tags, AirFinder OnSite’s total cost of ownership is substantially less than ultra-wideband or traditional Bluetooth-based solutions.

Link Labs’ AirFinder platform is a complete, secure, flexible and software-driven platform for multiple location types – indoor, outdoor and everywhere in-between. It is natively intelligent in every aspect – from firmware, sensors, tags and beacons to real-time data analytical models.

AirFinder does not require an internal WiFi system and is capable of operating on its own secure network layer via Link Labs’ Symphony Link or other third-party network layer technology, such as Bluetooth mesh technologies. AirFinder is rapidly deployable and highly scalable – it uses significantly less infrastructure than other systems—which accelerates IoT deployment to just days, not months.

Location data from each AirFinder device securely flows to the AirFinder web app or directly to customer databases via extensible APIs, which provides the ability to locate and monitor assets in real-time, analyse asset history, add rules and alerts, establish geofences and more. The AirFinder platform also provides remote monitoring and device management, allowing the system to easily be optimised at any time for different use cases.

Link Labs CEO Bob Proctor and AirFinder OnSite Chief Engineer Mark Bloechl will officially unveil AirFinder OnSite in a free webinar on Thurs., March 18, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Register to attend here.

Read the article on Electronic Specifier

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