RFID Talk Blog

Debating the merits of RTLS

Interesting conversation about RTLS over on the RFID 24-7 LinkedIn page. Author Ann Grackin of ChainLink Research makes some excellent points about RTLS, as does ODIN’s Bret Kinsela in his response. Leave a reply and let us know what you think.

From the article:

Real-time locating inside facilities1 is an idea that has been sustained through belief in the value of the solution. We have seen great projects that do have value. But yet, the market growth for the past ten years is still small.

RTLS is target-rich—and in the early days there was a lot of ‘spray and pray,’ chasing a lot of use cases and accounts, hoping that once a good case study emerged from a particular industry, it would lead to growth. And since most of the RTLS projects are industry-specific—Auto, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Defense, Healthcare, Mining, etc.—there were large investment efforts to develop industry-based solutions.

But it has been hard to get a meaningful return from them, and one account did not lead to another. Clouding the issue are complementary technologies—‘semi-active’ (that’s active, right?), longer range passive with extra memory, cellular, etc.

Where is WhereNet? The acquisition by Zebra looked like a great idea—giving end-users the broadest choice possible in Auto-ID—but RTLS seems to have disappeared within that company. AreoScout? We haven’t heard much lately. Ekahau seems to be hanging in there, with sheer persistence and focus.

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