What is a Real Time Location System (RTLS)?

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RTLS or indoor positioning systems (IPS) can be simply described as GPS on steroids but used indoors for the purpose of tracking, locating and monitoring the activity of people and things. With RTLS technology, location data is received from devices (location transmitters) attached to ceilings or walls and transmitted via Wi-Fi through active asset tags for equipment and wearables for people (tags, badges). The location data is then accessed in a variety of ways including via cloud-based application program interfaces (API), mobile apps, integrated CRM software, etc. Locating technologies include ultrasound, radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR), Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth low energy (BLE). Most RTLS providers use a combination of technologies based on the granularity of the location data required for the application. Ultrasound delivers the highest level of granularity from room to bay, bed and chair level accuracy and reliability. RTLS is used in healthcare, manufacturing, smart warehouses, hospitality, education, and other industries for the purpose of maximizing workflow efficiency, safety, wayfinding, and inventory and asset control and has been proven to deliver significant return on investment (ROI).