And who offers the best solution for evacuation management?
This is a difficult question to answer since there are no reporting requirements or companies that track radio frequency identification deployments down to applications within specific industries. I would guess, based on the articles we’ve published to date, that AeroScout is probably the largest provider of people-tracking systems. I say this because its RFID-based real time location system (RTLS), which employs Wi-Fi tags, is used in hospitals to track patients and, in some cases, personnel. The solution is also employed in the oil and gas sector, and AeroScout has developed a specific system for evacuation management (see RFID News Roundup: AeroScout Markets RFID-enabled Evacuation-Monitoring Solution).
Having said that, there are other systems in use as well. BP is utilizing a system provided by Zebra Technologies at its Cherry Point oil refinery. The system uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to track 2,000 workers (see BP Refinery Uses RFID for Evacuation System). And the state of Texas is using passive UHF and GPS technologies to track evacuees from hurricanes and other natural disasters (see An RFID Port in a Storm).
In addition, the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust, located in England, is employing RTLS software provided by Awarepoint to track the movements of patients and staff members, as well as to manage the locations of tagged assets and ensure hand-hygiene compliance. The Awarepoint system is Zigbee-based (see Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Uses RTLS to Manage Assets, People, Hygiene).
The best solution for evacuation management would depend on a variety of factors, including whether you are using an RFID system to track assets—and, if so, which one.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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