Bluvision Boasts New RTLS-EZ Solution Deploys Within Hours

The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy gateways that plug into outlets, as well as beacons and cloud-based software, to enable a fast and low-cost solution for RTLS tracking with granularity down to 1 meter.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 19, 2017

Internet of Things technology company Bluvision (a part of HID Global) released an updated version of its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) real-time location system (RTLS) this spring that makes deployment of a typical RTLS solution possible within a matter of hours. The company calls its latest offering RTLS-EZ because users can simply plug BluFi gateways into outlets, input them into the cloud-based software, and begin using them. That makes RTLS deployments to track assets in real time faster than was possible with the previous version of its BLE solution, the company reports. The technology can also be used for workplace optimization when beacon tags are worn by individuals.

Like its predecessor, the RTLS-EZ system consists of Bluvision's BLE beacons, Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled plug-in gateways, and the company's Bluzone cloud-based software. With RTLS-EZ, however, improvements in the software enable an easier configuration of gateways so that the gateways can quickly determine their own location and those of the beacons that move around them, without the need for callibration.

Bluevision's RTLS-EZ system
In fact, says John Sailer, Bluvision's COO, the system is so simple to install that by the fourth quarter of this year, the company plans to be able to ship the solution in a box for users to install themselves. He notes that traditional RTLS solutions with active RFID or ultra-wideband technology have been challenging to implement, since they typically require cabled readers, antennas, and sometimes exciters or repeaters to improve location granularity.

The Bluvision gateways, on the other hand, cost less than $50 apiece, and users pay for access by utilizing a software-as-a-service model. Therefore, deployment costs are minimal. If gateways are installed approximately 10 meters (32.8 feet) apart, Sailer says, they will typically provide location data within about a meter in a typical deployment. Bluvision makes its own gateway and beacon hardware and writes its own firmware.

The technology—either the RTLS-EZ version, announced at last month's RFID Journal LIVE! conference, or the previous versions of the solution—is in use at about 50 locations, either in pilots or in permanent deployments.

For instance, an emergency vehicle manufacturer uses Bluvision's RTLS beacons to track the locations of vehicles as they are being assembled, as well as following assembly before they are shipped to customers. It attaches Bluvision beacons (about the size of a AAA battery) to each vehicle and, with gateways deployed throughout the assembly plant, can identify when a vehicle reaches each work station. This helps the firm to manage where the vehicles are located, while also enabling operators access to information about the requirements for each assembled vehicle as it arrives at their station.

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