December 12, 2007 – A real-time location system (RTLS) that can read thousands of small, active RFID tags per second through multiple walls with a precision of 12-36 inches, was launched Dec. 5 by Time Domain Corp. – the Precision Location Ultra Wideband System (PLUS).
The new product line employs the company’s patented ultra wideband technology that will enable RTLS solutions to move from an “approximate presence” technology to a solution that precisely locates and monitors the interaction of people and assets for a host of new healthcare, retail, logistics and security applications.
The key to PLUS’ precision and high-tag throughput is the company’s 6.4 GHz ultra wideband pulse-based technology. Unlike other RFID RTLS technologies such as UHF, Zigbee Wi-Fi , ultra wideband active tags emit a burst of extremely short pulses once a second which, when read and processed by a time difference of arrival (TDOA) algorithm, provides inches of accuracy in 2-D and multi-floor environments. The company says this short pulse approach also provides precise location accuracy in “noisy” indoor environments where wiring and metal fixtures are often problematic for other RTLS systems.
The new PLUS products are currently being trialed in several healthcare applications, which is the company’s initial target market.
Time Domain is launching its PLUS line with a full complement of ready-to-deploy hardware and software products including small tags with a four-year battery life for people and hardware assets; easy-to-install by 2 by 2 foot ceiling tile antenna/reader assemblies; a synchronization distribution panel (SDP) that provides timing synchronization and power to the readers; and PLUS Location Software that computes tag location using TDOA and easily interfaces with higher-level application software.
One of the first commercial deployments of Time Domain’s PLUS technology is at Washington Hospital Center, a nonprofit 926-bed acute care teaching and research hospital in Washington, D.C. The PLUS system, sold and integrated by Parco Wireless, will provide a comprehensive asset location and monitoring system in a new section of the hospital’s emergency department, which opens in January. Hospitals are using PLUS to keep precise track of critical assets such as IV pumps, cardiac monitors and other devices.
“Knowing where these assets are and their status will help us improve productivity, utilization and prevent loss,” said Dr. Mark Smith, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Washington Hospital Center.
For more information: www.timedomain.com