10 of the Coolest Uses of Micro-location Technology
Written by Brian Buntz
- Finding Things- whether in a Warehouse or at Home
- Indoor positioning systems can be used similarly to GPS systems outside. For instance, a warehouse can be mapped helping guide automatic guided vehicles or human workers looking to find parts, tools, or pallets spread throughout the building. Click here to read more.
- The potential automotive applications of micro-location technologies begin with streamlining manufacturing. Sometimes, a car maker will build a car and everything finished but for one part, say, a seatbelt. “What they will do is store the cars outside in these massive parking lots outside and then, three days later, you will receive the seatbelt, but you need to find where the car is,” Viot says. Micro-location technology can make locating that car much easier.
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- The company ShotTracker, for instance, has integrated a chip embedded in the ball and has created wearables to track players in real time. “The system lets you track interceptions, successful passes, and shots,” Viot explains.
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- What if you could take a single remote control and use it to control virtually everything electric in your house? You could use it to turn on connected lightbulbs. As you point it to your Sonos speaker, the interface adapts to let you control the music or the radio. If you point it at your TV, the functions morph to let you change the volume. That type of functionality is possible with remote controls designed to take advantage of micro-location technology.
- Some high-end drones have a follow-me function, which can come in handy if you want to use the drones to shoot video of yourself. Until recently, most of these drones used facial recognition and form recognition technology with high-resolution cameras. The technology, however, often is associated with a high price tag. It is not always accurate either; when a lot of people around, the drone can get lost and lose track of you. Click here to read more.
- Working on a similar principle as drones that follow a user, auto-follow video cameras can be used to follow automatically moving objects or people such as say, athletes, professional dancers, or a horse galloping around a track.
- Micro-location Technology has significant potential for preventing accidents. Cyclists or pedestrians equipped with an ultrawideband tag could communicate with connected cars that are as far as 200-m away to help avoid collisions. The same basic principle can prevent forklift accidents within manufacturing facilities. Employees with tags could communicate their position to connected forklifts. If workers get too close to the forklift, it will automatically stop.
- Waste and inefficiency continue to be significant problems for the healthcare industry. While it can be difficult to quantify the problem, a recent study summarized that medical errors were the third-leading cause of death in the United States. While that figure is uncertain, there is certainly a need for cutting down on mistakes and for improving efficiency as the healthcare industry worldwide becomes ever-more cost conscious. Micro-location technology can help clinicians keep track of assets, ensuring that the right products are used with patients. The technology can also be used to guide staff doctors and nurses as quickly as possible and can optimize patient flow.
- Although it’s not a new application, ultrawideband excels at tracking emergency personnel such as firefighters who can be difficult to monitor otherwise when entering buildings filled with flames and thick smoke. The same technology can be used to monitor the position of soldiers on missions and help guide them back to the base.
- Ultrawideband technology is also well suited for retail applications. “We also have a customer in Taiwan who is deploying a robot that is a shopping assistant,” Viot says. “When you got to the shop, it will launch a do-it-yourself shopping function. You can pick your robot, and it will guide you to the objects that are on your shopping list.” Click here to read more.
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