There are several tags on the market that combine RFID for relatively short-range and in-door tracking with GPS for long-range outdoor tracking. Numerex, an Atlanta-based provider of fixed and mobile machine-to-machine wireless solutions and network services, and RFID systems supplier Savi Technology have created an intelligent hybrid tag that combines active RFID, satellite communications and GPS technologies (see Hybrid Tag Includes Active RFID, GPS, Satellite and Sensors).
In 2007, WhereNet (now part of Zebra Technologies) and Identec Solutions introduced hybrid GPS-RFID tags (see WhereNet, Identec Solutions Offer GPS Tracking). WhereNet modified its Visibility Software Server (VSS) to show a tag’s GPS coordinates.
Both Savi and Identec allow you to visualize a tag’s location either on corporate computers or via the Web. Savi’s SmartChain suite is licensed software that shows a tag’s location, and is usually accessed online via password-protected security. In addition, the data can be routed directly to a user’s own internal systems, such as the U.S. Department of Defense‘s In-Transit Visibility network. Savi can also provide the information as a hosted service on a transaction or subscription basis.
All of Identec’s real-time location system (RTLS) tags require an application to view their location on a map, and most of those applications can be hosted on the Web. By using Identec’s software development kit (SDK), you can build an application to display the tag’s location on most Internet mapping systems.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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