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GuardRFID Brings RTLS to Remote Locations

Solar-powered readers and exciters are designed to be easy and low-cost to install in areas where there may be no power or internet connectivity, to enable the locating of individuals or things within a meter or less at a distance of up to 400 meters.
By Claire Swedberg
May 15, 2017

Several companies are piloting or deploying a solar-powered real-time location system (RTLS) from Canadian technology company GuardRFID Solutions that is intended to deliver low-cost location data regarding people and things in places that do not lend themselves to technology. The AllGuard Real-time Location Platform system allows active RFID RTLS technology to be quickly and easily deployed at locations that lack power sources or network connectivity, says Zahir Abji, GuardRFID's president and CEO, or that cannot accommodate cabling and permanent installations.

The system consists of wireless 433 MHz RFID Solar Powered Tag Readers (SPTRs) that can be mounted on existing structures or be placed in strategic locations on a tripod. They come with a solar panel measuring 24 inches by 36 inches to power the readers, which collect data and use a Wi-Fi connection to send read data to a hub installed at the facility and then back to GuardRFID's cloud-based server, via cellular or satellite connectivity. The Application Client middleware (businesses can use their own software if they prefer) then interprets the location data and pushes that information to the company's own software. If no connectivity is available, the readers store the data until it can be accessed.

A solar panel measuring 24 inches by 36 inches powers the RFID readers.
The system also comes with Solar Powered Tag Exciters (SPTEs) to provide greater location granularity. Each GuardRFID exciter serves to awaken a tag via its 125 KHz transmission, prompting the tag's response. The solar-powered readers then capture each tag's ID number with the exciter identification, and GuardRFID software approximates the tag's location to within a few meters.

In this way, Abji says, companies can create a variety of solutions at a relatively low cost. GuardRFID's partners are deploying the technology with multiple companies, which have asked to remain unnamed. Users can track such items as vehicles moving around yards, as well as other equipment, assets and personnel in places where permanent RTLS infrastructure isn't feasible.

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