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UWB to Help Sales Staff Fish for Leads

Fish Software is adopting an ultrawide-band real-time location system to help its clients identify attendees at trade shows and other events.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Nov 02, 2006Fish Software, a provider of interactive marketing software used at trade shows and consumer events, is adopting an ultrawide-band (UWB) real-time location system (RTLS) to help identify and track event attendees.

Until now, Fish Software has accomplished this using 315 MHz active tags and interrogators provided by Texas RFID provider Axcess International. The tags, which use a proprietary communications protocol, are integrated into attendee badges. By reading these tags, interrogators deployed throughout the trade show floor, and at the entrances to conference session rooms, can track the movements and locations of attendees.

Jay Cadman, Ubisense
Sometimes, however, RFID works too well. That's what Fish Software found out when it tried to use the active RFID system to provide trade-show exhibitors with visibility into who was stopping at their booths. The company wanted to track the attendees' movements, then use Fish Software to provide salespeople working in the booth, via text messaging or other media, with a profile of each person who entered. The profile included the attendee's name, title and product interests, based on registration survey answers. The problem was that confining interrogation zones to an individual booth—sometimes as small as 10 square feet—so that an attendee's tag would be read only in that booth, would have meant adding many more readers to the show floor—a very expensive proposition, says Michael Gilvar, president of Fish Software.

To that end, Fish Software decided to seek another solution for this application. Now the company says it has found one, from Ubisense, a Denver-based firm with an ultrawide-band (UWB) real-time location system (RTLS) that Fish Software plans to deploy at a trade show in mid-February.

Fish will work with Ubisense to install an array of four Ubisense tag readers in each booth area. According to Ubisense's vice president of sales and marketing, Jay Cadman, any two of the four readers in each booth will locate a Ubisense tag, or Ubitag, to within 1 foot inside the booth—a level of accuracy, he claims, that other RFID RTLS platforms can not match, whether they operate at 2.45 GHz or other frequencies. The Ubitags and readers operate from 5.8 to 7.2 GHz, though UWB systems can operate from 3.1 GHz to 10.6 GHz. UWB tags transmit a signal over multiple bands of frequencies simultaneously.

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