People Tracking Using Radio Frequency Identification Technology using InvenTrack3000.
- July 27, 2013
About 8,000 people holding a RFID chip attached to mobile phone attending a week-long fashion show. During the show, the chip holder just needs to flash on a designated gantry to go and see a fashion show. The event mentioned is Singapore Fashion Festival, 2008. There is no ticket to be issued out for each show. Show goers can choose and pick the right show to go to and the entry tickets are programmed into their RFID chip to enable them enter into the show. It is easy and transparent. This system enables the organizer to know who is exactly coming to the show, the number of people currently attending the show or loitering around in the lounge or other areas. It is also able to tighten access to secure areas such as VIP receptions. Other than monitor the attendees, this system also monitor no of employees either full-time or part-time as well as various media organizations that cover this event.
The visitor management and people tracking is designed and provided by Intensecomp using the latest personnel track and trace software solution called InvenTrack3000.
RFID or Radio Frequency Identification technology enables passive identification of user and is used widely to track movement of people. There are many possible applications for people movement monitoring. Building management uses this technology to monitor movement of people into a building as well as for emergency purposes. Access control into the building is covered here as well. Schools, colleges and universities can track students via their RFID enable student card.
InvenTrack3000 is a platform consists of several modules. It can be configured to monitor movement of a person from one location to another, a group of people moving in/out of a location (suitable for job site monitoring as well as replacement of employee time card) and pin-point monitoring with mapping or graphical representation on screen.
For RFID technology employed in InvenTrack3000, it is divided into 3 main categories of RFID application. The categories are as follows:
- Passive tracking with close proximity contact card.
- Passive tracking via vicinity tag (up to 10m distance).
- Active tracking using battery powered tag.
Proximity Contact Card
Proximity contact card is similar to access control card used to open a door or tap on reader concept. The basic concept is a person hold a card. It can be employee card, student pass or other permit for access and etc. The card contains unique identification number to represent the holder. When the holder tapped the card on a reader, the reader will inform InvenTrack3000 the identity of the person as well as the time of tapping. The advantage of this technology is considerably low cost as well as short implementation or installation period. In short, it is easy to install and low cost suitable for general users. Tracking is carried out whenever the card is tapped on the reader. The draw back of this system is it requires the holder to tap on a reader. If there is no tapping, the system will not be able to track at that point.
Tracking via vicinity tag enables tracking of a person from a distance. The card/tag holder may not necessary to be aware that he/she is being monitored. The reason is because readers or detectors are placed on a distance from the user. For example, readers are placed 1 meter above walkway of a corridor. The reader may not be visible to the user and yet the detection range can detect the tag carried by the user.
It is also possible to make a gantry with readers for users to pass through. When the user passed through the gantry, the system will identify the user as well as record the time he/she passed the gantry or possible to use mat antenna such as A5530.
Another possible implementation of vicinity tag is via a reader kiosk. Readers are placed on kiosks to detected tags within range. When the tags are detected, the kiosk will record and identify the user. It can also show and greet the users whenever possible depending on application. The detection range can range from 50cm to 5m depending on the RFID system deployed. Each detection will trigger the software which power the kiosk.
Real-life example of intelligent kiosk with RFID built-in for Singapore Science Centre developed by Intensecomp.
Active tag tracking is suitable for real-time tracking and pin-point tracking. Each active tag is powered by internal battery is capable to transmit information related to the tag holder every seconds depending on the configuration. Each transmission will inform host application the locality of the tag as well as its direction of movement includes temperatures and other digital signals. Computers can monitor the exact locations of these tags and inform the user on the location of the tag holder.
Maps can be added into InvenTrack3000 to view the location of a tag holder. Below is a real example of a factory where the whole building is equipped with active tag readers. The network of readers feedback location information of the active tags to the host server.
A comprehensive solutioin
InvenTrack3000 is a comprehensive tracking solution covering hardware and software solutions. The highlights of capabilities of the system are:
- Automatically identify, locate and account for people, workers, contractors, visitors and others in concerned area.
- Strengthen access control into secured area.
- Accountable for personnel during emergencies.
- Integrated to monitor high-value assets and equipments.
- Able to interface to security, human resources and other systems.
It can be used to monitor job progress with people and location identifications. By detecting a badge or tag at an identified location, it can then correlate the person with a particular job. In InvenTrack3000, the basic components are divided into properties, locations and asset. Asset here refers to badges or ID card issued out either to workers, visitors, students and etc.
Upon configuration, a network of readers linked to InvenTrack3000 will start to monitor all IDs in the system. When a badge move from one location to another, the location information is automatically updated. This prevent the needs to manually record movement of personnel.
Each property can contain many locations while locations can contain many assets. Movement of asset on every location are monitored and recorded into historical database. Movement reports can then be generated based on assets or locations. It becomes easier to locate and redeploy critical assets or people.
Using such system reduces manual paper work tremendously. Reports and information updates can be generated and displayed accordingly. For example, it can be set for reports to be printed upon completing of daily personnel manifests. Data can then be displayed on web-pages as well as printed out on paper.
For example, in the morning, when an employee signed in for work, he just needs to tap in into the tracking zones. When he is to leave for lunch, he then taps out. InvenTrack3000 is able to record his time log as well as provide a report to indicate when he taps in and out. Also, further to that, the system can be configured to figure out if he is out for lunch or out for the day. In the event where he never taps in again, the system will automatically reports him as tap out for the day and etc. There are the business rules that can be added into InvenTrack3000. InvenTrack3000 helps to reduce paper work as well as error due to manual recording. Ultimately, it provides real-time information whenever required.
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