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Redpoint Positioning Launches High-Precision RTLS

The company says its system, currently being piloted at construction sites and retail stores to track workers' whereabouts, does not require a Wi-Fi network, making deployments easy, fast and less expensive.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 02, 2015

Redpoint Positioning Corp. has launched a real-time location system (RTLS) that it claims is easy to deploy, even on a temporary basis, in areas where Wi-Fi networks are not always available, and where highly granular location data is required. The technology is currently being piloted for safety applications in Boston by Skanska USA, as well as by other construction companies, to help alert workers if they enter a restricted area. The Redpoint solution is also being piloted by retailers for in-store workforce-management applications.

In the case of Skanska, the technology helps the company ensure that it knows when staff members go to an area of a job site that they are not authorized to enter, and can warn them to turn back. The system also provides historical data so that management can identify workers who repeatedly enter an unauthorized area, and provide them with additional training to prevent such mistakes from recurring.

Redpoint software displays the real-time locations of workers on the job site. (Click on the above image to view a larger version.)
The system was first showcased at RFID Journal LIVE! 2015 in April, and Redpoint has since been demonstrating its Wearable Safety Alert System—an RTLS solution for industrial construction sites—at other conferences, such as the BIMForum Conference.

Redpoint Positioning, founded in 2010 in Cambridge, Mass., has focused the development of its solutions on providing the accuracy of an ultra-wideband (UWB) system at a more affordable price compared with those of other high-precision RTLS solutions, according to Antti Korhonen, the company's president and CEO. Redpoint's RTLS uses DecaWave's DW1000 chips, which comply with the IEEE 802.15.4-2011 (UWB PHY) standard. Redpoint has also developed and patented software solutions to provide, for instance, the MAC layer, TDOA schemes and positioning algorithms. Using the DW1000 chip in conjunction with Redpoint's own software and tag components, Korhonen says, Redpoint's RTLS offers 2-D location accuracy of 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) and 3-D location accuracy of 30 centimeters (11.8 inches).

Redpoint also incorporates Bluetooth and other wireless technologies in its RTLS solutions, says Chunjie Duan, the company's CTO. "Combining different technologies intelligently with UWB," Duan adds, "allows us to further improve the accuracy, capacity [and] reliability, and deliver multi-tiered location service."

The battery-powered tags made with DW1000 chips can act as transceivers, and can be set up to create a wireless sensor network (WSN) and RTLS solutions. The tags come with embedded positioning algorithms, Duan says, while network anchors, also made with the same DecaWave chips, act as "satellites" that make the Redpoint solution operate like GPS does, "enabling fast response locating, navigation and zero-latency alert applications."

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