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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dust Networks Unveils Location Sensing Technology

By Nick Flaherty

No Wires Required for Accurate 802.15.4 Real Time Location Systems
Wireless sensor maker Dust Networks is expanding the capabilities of its wireless sensor networking (WSN) technology to include location sensing. Dust Networks has combined its work in standards-based time synchronized mesh networking with new time-of-flight ranging capabilities to deliver a new approach to location sensing, Time Synchronized Positioning Time-of-flight (TSPT). Using multi-channel time-of-flight ranging on IEEE 802.15.4 radios, TSPT networks can accurately pinpoint the position of a person or asset to within 1-3 meters indoors or outdoors, even in the harshest RF environments.
“The seamless addition of location sensing capabilities to ultra-low power wireless sensor networks fundamentally changes the economy of delivering asset and people-tracking applications,” said Brenda Glaze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dust Networks. “We are looking forward to partnering with the leading sensor and asset management solution providers to enable new services and products.”
Conventional real-time-location system (RTLS) technologies typically require a fixed wired infrastructure which can be very expensive to install. TSPT utilizes Dust’s field-proven time synchronized wireless mesh infrastructure which can run for many years on batteries or harvested energy, allowing infrastructure to be easily deployed with no disruption to buildings or their occupants.
Key features of TSPT include:
  • No wires: every mote can run on batteries or harvested energy. Installations are non-disruptive, and the technology can be readily used indoors and outdoors.
  • No site survey: the self-forming 802.15.4E mesh infrastructure channel hops, and the mesh connectivity automatically adapts as the RF environment changes.
  • No special deployment skills: the network forms automatically, and no field wireless expertise is needed.
  • Location tags, attached to people or assets, also run on low-cost batteries for years.
  • Sensor and control data is readily handled by the tags and network, allowing applications developers to easily combine information about where an object is with information about how the object is. 
The Dust Networks TSPT products will begin sampling in Q3 2010.

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