IoT asset tracking company Leash It developed a RTLS solution for use in multi-storey buildings to pinpoint the exact location of an asset on a floor plan.
The solution used BLE low energy Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, multiple gateways and software to constantly map the location of assets within the infrastructure. The solution also provided the option of adding sensors for heat and humidity, as well as an accelerometer. To implement the solution, a floor plan must first be uploaded to locate assets within the building. Then gateways need to be placed in the floorplan and installed in corresponding positions in the physical building. Thirdly, assets need to be uploaded to the registry and the unique code of the asset tag allocated to each asset, then the asset register should be exported to the asset management system. Once this is done, permissions and notifications are allocated to staff, and the gateways activated to start tracking assets and collecting movement data. Notifications can be sent via SMS, and are sent according to rules set during system installation.
For example, if a piece of equipment is removed from its allocated area, or a (tracked) staff member enters an area for which he or she has not completed the required OH&S induction. Depending on permissions, staff can search the floorplan for particular equipment, or click on gateways to see which assets are located nearby.
Data is also uploaded to an analytical engine which can break down asset utilisation and productivity, including how long an asset has been in a particular place, and all the places it has occupied within the building.
The solution allows location within floors, and also identifies what level floor assets are on by using reference point architecture with gateways in every office and open area of every floor. The gateways are able to determine distance from asset by signal strength, and the concrete between floors stops the Bluetooth beacon being transmitted between storeys. It is accurate to within a metre.
The battery life of the tags typically used for assets is around three to five years, although smaller Bluetooth tags (eg. For laptops) can last one year.
The solution can be retrofitted to existing infrastructure as the gateways connect to local wi-fi and detect Bluetooth tagged assets.
It can also be used in wider areas such as outdoor mine sites as it implements a number of gateways with ranges from 15 to 120 m.
Leash It has established a free asset tracking network called the Community of Things (CoT).This can be used to track commercial assets that are reported as lost or stolen through a consumer asset tracking App on consumer’s phones, forming a mesh network that can detect the reported assets and send a GPS location to the owner.
Edited by Tim Kannegieter