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UWB Technology Proves Mythological for Icelandic Museum

Snorrastofa Reykholt is providing guests with a system from Locatify that identifies their exact locations in the museum within 20 centimeters and feeds them information based on that data.
By Claire Swedberg

The anchors are typically installed in corners, Liddell says, and each can read tags at a distance of up to about 40 meters (131 feet). As a guest walks around the museum, the system identifies that individual's location based on the tag reads, then relevant content is displayed about each exhibit he or she visits. The system is sensitive enough that the content can vary between exhibits located only a few meters apart.

The system can also come with turn-by-turn wayfinding, Liddell says, though Snorrastofa is not currently using that feature. "We think wayfinding will be a standard feature with the next round of your ultra-wideband [-based solution]," he states. The tag can also be built into a tablet, so that users could simply view the content on a device borrowed from the museum, rather than employing an app on their own phone.

UWB anchors
Companies can provide location-based notifications to customers with beacons at a very low cost, Liddell notes, but such systems may lack what he calls "the wow factor." In some cases, he adds, exhibits are close to each other, users move relatively quickly, and an effective app needs to be able to determine an individual's location not just within meters, but within inches. In addition, Liddell states, "Beacons have their limitations. If you have a big open space, you can't have beacons installed everywhere."

While the UWB anchors themselves are not more expensive than beacons, the tags typically cost about €40 ($47.50) apiece. The system could cost a user considerably more than a beacon-based solution, in which a user's phone could act as a locating device. However, Liddell notes, if a large room required multiple beacons to accomplish location data, the UWB system would still be more cost-effective. By early next year, Locatify expects to have three pilots under way at other companies in Europe or North America.

Tag and anchor communication

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