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Why Zone-Based Real-time Location Systems Are Superior
For indoor applications, zone-based approaches provide far more reliable results than triangulation-based methods, and at a cheaper cost.
A device (zone indicator) is installed within each individual room, which periodically emits signals indicating the ID of the zone in which the tags are located. The zone indicators can be tuned to reach only the tags in that particular room. Zone indicators are normally radio emitters. Some companies use IR emitters as zone indicators, in which case the tags must include an IR sensor. Upon receiving the signal from the zone indicator, periodically, or in response to a call by the reader, the tags emit a signal that includes their own ID, as well as that of the zone in which they are situated.
Zone indicators typically cost only 20 to 30 percent of the readers' price. They are wireless, and some are even battery-operated, so their installation is very easy and requires no infrastructure. In order to conserve the tag battery, some manufactures put the tag in sleep mode. The tag is then awoken by the zone indicator.
While some companies keep confusing the issue for commercial reasons, it is clear, beyond any doubt, that for indoor applications, where room-level accuracy localization is required, the second generation of zoning-based systems is the most suited approach:
• Their localization accuracy is superior.
• The stability of their results is much greater.
• Their cost is significantly lower
• Their installation is very simple and requires almost no infrastructure, other than a network connection and electricity for each reader, covering up to 20 rooms.
Abraham Blonder is the president of Vizbee RFID Systems, a provider of real-time tracking software designed to support all leading RFID technologies, including different types within the same project, for security, inventory and workflow applications. For more information, read How to Implement RFID Projects Without Risk in Days.
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