Implementing an RTLS asset tracking solution can be daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Many businesses don't know where to start when implementing their desired plan.
How does AirFinder work? What's the meaning behind all the technology? Let's walk through the process together.
Preparing for a Pilot
We want to provide companies with the best possible service at Link Labs. That is why scheduling a trial run, better known as a pilot, is essential. Before the pilot, you'll want to define your goals for implementing the AirFinder asset tracking system.
The best way to run a pilot is to start small. What are the benefits of your business implementing RTLS? What pain points are you trying to solve? What do you want your ROI to be? Which AirFinder products will be tested, and for what purpose? How long do you want the pilot to last? (The standard is 30 days). Asking these questions helps determine the project's scope, and having this information ready will help us help you.
Running a Pilot
Once AirFinder deployments are installed, a Link Labs professional will personally meet with you and show you how to work the AirFinder system. After that, weekly check-ins will ensure you have the opportunity to ask questions, pinpoint problems, and give and receive feedback.
When the pilot ends, you'll meet with your Link Labs representative to review data and see how the trial went. Then, the complete installation and implementation begin if you're ready to move forward.
Implementation: How it Works
Unconventional Active RFID
Before diving into how AirFinder works, one crucial thing to understand is the difference between passive RFID vs. active RFID. Passive RFID tags use power from a tag reader to determine location, such as the chip in a credit card. On the other hand, active RFID tags have batteries and continuously transmit signals to a location beacon. It's as if the tag constantly shouts, "Here I am!" to the location beacon.
Link Labs uses an unconventional form of active RFID to extend battery life and reduce the amount of data being pushed into the cloud. Our active RFID process is inverted—instead, the location beacons constantly transmit signals to the tags. This is a critical factor in the affordability of the AirFinder system.
How AirFinder Components Work Together
- Asset Tags
AirFinder tags use a combination of active RFID and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to track assets. First, tags get attached to assets—machinery, personnel, shipments, equipment—whatever you want to track. Then, a tag's location gets picked up by a location beacon.
- Location Beacons
Location beacons are a proximity-based geofence solution, meaning they stay in one place and define smaller perimeters of a particular area. Once a location beacon is set up, it collects data from the AirFinder tags and sends that information to the access point. Multiple location beacons can be placed strategically throughout a larger room or area for greater accuracy.
- Access Points
If location beacons define smaller areas, then access points can be seen as location beacon that defines a larger area. This layered technology enables a tag's location to be determined with meter-level accuracy. When the access point receives a tag's precise location from a beacon, it sends that information to the gateway.
The gateway is just what it sounds like—an entry point. Once data passes through the gateway, it enters the cloud platform and becomes accessible to users.
- Cloud-Based IoT Platform
Instantly access data and track your assets in real-time via AirFinder's cloud-based platform. This platform operates on Link Labs' Wi-Fi independent network, Symphony Link, which has been proven more affordable and secure than Wi-Fi or cellular data.
AirFinder is the only complete, flexible, software-driven IoT platform for indoor and outdoor location tracking. We remain committed to keeping the implementation process easy, affordable, and impactful at Link Labs.
Want to Learn More?
If you are interested and want to learn more about Link Labs asset tracking solutions, contact us today!