Over the past decade, Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) have become both more common and more consumer-accessible through smartphones and mobile applications. Outdoor RTLS like GPS have demonstrated widespread impact and utility. They can help drivers avoid traffic on the road, help emergency responders pinpoint distress signals, and provide valuable location data to countless use cases. Although GPS is able to provide highly accurate location data over a wide geographic area, satellite signals are unable to penetrate solid objects like buildings. Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS), or indoor RTLS, are being built to overcome the limitations of GPS. However, these newer solutions have been adopted more slowly due to technical limitations and infrastructure costs. As with outdoor RTLS, there are countless use cases for indoor RTLS. Applications range from medical asset tracking in healthcare to supply chain management to employee tracking and man-down alert handling. RTLS can lead to significant savings and optimizations for businesses. For example, locating lost medical devices can help reduce replacement costs and improve hospital logistics. There are also several approaches to building indoor tracking solutions, which include the use of technologies like Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID, Ultra Wide Band (UWB), and Ultrasound. While there are many opportunities for Indoor Positioning Solution (IPS) product development in this space, the supporting technologies are not nearly as well documented as outdoor technologies like GPS.
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