Real-time location systems (RTLS) have become an increasingly important strategic capability for a variety of business applications. From asset management to inventory control, it has played a significant part in many industries such as manufacturing, transportation, logistics and health care.
RTLS were historically based on RFID and proprietary but in the recent years, WiFi has become an alternative platform for RTLS solutions.
As it is common to find enterprises which already has an existing WiFi instructure, it is both cost effective and efficient to build a Wi-Fi based RTLS solution on the existing network. Without the need to build a RFID based RTLS solution from scratch, it eliminates the need for a separate cabling system and expensive RFID reader. This in turn reduces the cost and manpower required to maintain 2 separate networks, offering enterprises a significant ROI on their existing WiFi networks.
Another advantage of WiFi-based RTLS solution is that it is based on IEEE 802.11 standards. One will not be limited by the choice of vendors they can purchase from compared to the traditional RFID-based RTLS which is proprietary.
Due to the already large and continually growing footprint of WiFi infrastructure, one can expect WiFi based RTLS will be one of the new applications gaining popularity beyond simply wireless internet access for laptops.