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Tag it: real-time location monitoring with the T301W Wi-Fi tag from Ekahau


October 19, 2009

The T301W wrist tag from Ekahau offers simple two-way communication as well as an "unprecedented degree of location accuracy"

The T301W wrist tag from Ekahau offers simple two-way communication as well as an "unprecedented degree of location accuracy"

If you need to keep track of customers, workers or even your kids, but don't fancy the idea of implanting a chip, then the familiar form offered by Ekahau's T301W may be of interest. The unobtrusive watch-like wristband tag enables real-time location monitoring over a Wi-Fi network. It's accurate to within a few feet, allows for simple two-way communication and, being waterproof, can be safely disinfected for re-use.

A standard hospital wristband can be slotted through the body of the T301W and placed on the wrist or ankle. It's equipped with a remotely triggered vibration alert that can be used to signal the wearer that a pre-determined action needs to be undertaken. The device communicates with the real-time location system over a customer's own Wi-Fi network which, according to Ekahau, gives an, "unprecedented degree of location accuracy, movement tracking and workflow visibility."

On the face of the tag is a big red push button that, when activated by the user, sends a pre-programmed message back to the system - to indicate the completion of a task or allow the wearer to check in or request urgent assistance. In the latter case, the company states that the technology guarantees, "precise location capabilities down to less than a few feet in both confined and open spaces."

Such a device would no doubt be of benefit to hospitals (to monitor the movement of patients or visitors); to secure facilities or military installations (to make sure only authorized personnel are on site); in isolated working environments (such as mines and sewer systems); or even to ensure the safety and security of children at amusement parks, shopping malls or busy transport terminals.

The T301W can be fully immersed in various disinfectant/cleaning products, allowing it to be safely re-used over and over again. How long the Li-ion battery lasts between charges depends on how it's used, but Ekahau claims at least a "few weeks to over a month."

The Ekahau T301W tags will be available shortly for around US$60.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden
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