Project: Development of an ID-tag with Wi-Fi and ultrasound for accurate indoor positioning

The goal of the project is to develop the most cost efficient RTLS ID-tag for high accuracy indoor positioning. In fact on a global scale only Sonitor Technologies patented USID ultrasound technology can offer a cost effective solution for positioning at bay level. At the other scale of resolution AeroScout’s Wi-Fi based technology offers the most cost effective means of tracking location departmental level position data using already installed Wi-Fi infrastructure. By combining the two technologies in a single integrated solution, an nearly ideal solution is obtained that will allow for wide-scale and cost effective adaptation of RTLS technology in healthcare. All other current technologies including RFID can only offer cost effective positioning on room level (i.e. at best determine in which room a patient is located). The ability to track the location of assets, patients and staff at the level of the bay or bed is crucial for RTLS technology to succeed in the healthcare market. This is because the most valuable interactions in a healthcare setting happen at this resolution level. When reliable and accurate, such location data can help healthcare and care organizations to improve care, reduce cost and improve efficiency. Some examples of applications in a hospital setting are given below._x000D__x000D_The ID-tags we aim to develop in this project can contribute to tracking exactly which persons have been exposed to contagious sources in hospitals. That can save lives by isolating and treating potentially infected patients and personnel while the disease is still in containable phase. Our accurate and reliable positioning system can determine how close and for how long the contact have been between people. That information can be used to calculate the risk of disease transmission more precisely than all other position systems on the market can today. _x000D_Another important area of use for the ID-tags is automation of reporting and billing in hospitals. Our accurate positioning system can provide the hospitals IT-systems with information about events like a consultation with a doctor and the use of special equipment on a patient. This can significantly reduce the time doctors and other health care personnel use on reporting and billing. As a result the health care personnel can spend more time on operative tasks. _x000D_Although not a direct goal of this project, ultimately the technology developed as part of this project will be able to deliver exact 3D indoor positioning with precision on centimeter level. Such technology can for example save lives in home care due to the possibility this offers for realizing fall prevention and detection._x000D_The project consortium consists of Sonitor Technologies AS, which is located in Norway, and AeroScout Ltd, which is located in Israel. _x000D_Sonitor is today the leading provider and innovator in the field of RTLS technology based on ultrasound communication. Sonitor has recently realized a breakthrough in the use of spread spectrum ultrasonic communication, which is in the process of being patented. This technology enables a much higher degree of robustness, accuracy and power efficiency than ever before. It is this technology that will be integrated with AeroScout’s Wi-Fi technology as part of this project._x000D_AeroScout is the global market leader in Unified Asset Visibility (UAV). AeroScout solutions use Wi-Fi-based Active RFID, sensors, RTLS and other technologies to provide complete wireless asset tracking and monitoring. As a pioneer in the Wi-Fi RFID market, AeroScout’s solutions are used by hundreds of customers worldwide in healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and other industries to automate business processes and deliver context-aware applications. AeroScout’s Pships with Cisco Systems, Philips Medical Systems, AT&T and other leading technology and solution providers have brought AeroScout hardware and software to the forefront of the rapidly expanding asset tracking marketplace._x000D_The background of the project is a shared desire by both parties to unify the resources of the market leader (AeroScout) and the technology leader (Sonitor Technologies) within real time locating systems (RTLS) in order to develop a shared product (an ID-tag with Wi-Fi and ultrasound receiver). AeroScout possesses Wi-Fi technology (which is necessary in order to communicate with the hospitals IT systems) and a large distribution network while Sonitor Technologies is developing the leading RTLS technology based on ultrasound. The aim of the project is to develop an ID-tag which integrates Sonitor Technologies’ ultrasound receiver and AeroScout’s’ Wi-Fi transmitter on the same circuit board using the same processor to control both components. Today the only option on the market is to buy an ID-tag with a separate circuit board for the ultrasound receiver from Sonitor Technologies and a separate circuit board for the Wi-Fi transmitter from AeroScout. That is an expensive and power consuming solution.

Acronym Wi-Fi ultrasound ID (Reference Number: 6234)
Duration 03/01/2011 - 02/07/2012
Project Topic The aim of the project is to develop a Real-time Location system (RTLS) ID-tag which integrates Sonitor Technologies ultrasound receiver and AeroScout Wi-Fi transmitter on the same circuit board using the same processor to control both components.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The original project goals were only partially achieved. The original goal was to develop a new and cost efficient RTLS ID-tag for high accuracy indoor positioning by integrating the Sonitor Technologies patented USID ultrasound technology with the AeroScout tags to provide a state-of-the-art cost effective solution for positioning at bay level and at room level. _x000D_Unfortunately the development was not completed during the period of the project and a significant additional R&D investment was and is still required to complete the product development._x000D_The tag development was delayed by several technical obstacles which didn't allow us to get the required system performance._x000D_AeroScout expects that in the next few months it will be possible to start volume production._x000D_The ultrasound exciter development was almost completed but it will only be released once the tag development is fully completed.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 5

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Sonitor Technologies AS Coordinator Norway
2 AeroScout Ltd Partner Israel