The advent of accurate, low-cost tracking solutions coupled with management requirements that demand to know where high-value assets are at all times have created a market for location systems that use Wi-Fi as their infrastructure. This chapter examines some of the issues and challenges associated with Wi-Fi location technology.
“Where's my stuff?”
One of the most sophisticated and promising applications that can grow out of Wi-Fi LAN implementation is the ability to track the location of assets and personnel within campus and enterprise environments. Network-based tracking uses a combination of networkcentric computers, radio tags or other wireless devices, base stations and application software to locate, track and monitor assets and personnel in real time. For the purpose of this book, we are only concerned with the ones which use existing Wi-Fi networks as their communications infrastructure.
This technology is a marvelous advantage over the manual process of searching for misplaced items and manual inventory. And, in critical healthcare and first-responder situations, the ability to immediately locate life-saving equipment or know the whereabouts of key personnel can be the difference between life and death.
Benefits of Tracking
Some important benefits of positioning and tracking systems include:
Track computers or assets without being in 'line-of-sight' inside or outside;
Monitor real time information via the corporate intranet (or remotely via an internet browser;
Solve expensive logistics and, in the case of hospitals, safety and liability problems by instantly locating high-value assets or the technically proficient people that are required to operate them;
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