Ubisense UWB in-building locators

Retroactively posted April 4, 2005

I don't recall whether these guys have been mentioned before, but this is a small Cambridge (UK) company who apparently have a nice solution to in-building location tracking.

They use ultrawideband transmitter tags and networked receivers around in the building infrastructure, using time of flight as well as angle of signal reception (which is a twist I hadn't run across before) to triangulate tag positions. Interesting figures of merit include:

Base stations should be ~150 feet apart and need to be dense enough to have several in range for proper triangulation. A nice bonus is that the tags themselves have a couple of buttons and LEDs on them for doing basic interaction with the holder.

Apparently the UWB usage is even FCC-approved. They probably don't want to sell just sample tags and receivers, since the money has got to be in providing the whole "system" to a building, including backend servers and software. I presume there is some sort of fancy calibration that also needs to take place to characterize any RF reflections in the building in question, but they don't mention that if so.