Location Based Services: Which Technology Sees What You Need?

Antonín Steinberger Aimtec
12. 11. 2018 | 2 minutes reading

Understanding what’s stored in your warehouse and by your lines is useful, to say the least. But you needn’t always know with perfect precision. The technologies that let you localise objects in your halls are several in number. We’ve prepared an outline of which system can do what and when it’s worth considering.

There are several ways to determine locations. From the simplest, but also least precise, wherein you only determine a tracked object’s presence by an access point, to more sophisticated methods, such as TDoA (Time Difference of Arrival), wherein an object’s location is calculated based on triangulation and on capturing a signal at multiple points. WIFI AP, RFID gates and also barcode scanners are examples of the first method. The TDoA method, meanwhile, offers the most precise determination of locations. 

All the mentioned technologies belong to one large set: Location Based Services (LBS). TDoA is also utilised by Ultra Wideband (UWB), which is the foundation for Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) – these use locations to determine both status and motion. Using these technologies, you can both obtain an overview of a chip’s passage through a checkpoint and monitor its current route.

Accuracy 1–5 m 1–3 m 2–5 m 5–30 cm
Purpose ID only ID, position Position ID, position, motion
Battery usage medium low high low
Maximum read distance 10 m 10 m 30 m 30 m
Advantages can use passive, unpowered tags unique identification can be combined with data infrastructure broad possibilities for integration and analytics, high-precision localisation
Disadvantages complicated infrastructure, risk of misreading low scalability low precision, interference-heavy band large metal objects can block the signal
Usage identifying goods and materials detecting presence,

low-energy communication

detecting presence ID; tracking positions precisely

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