Well, new to me anyway. The company is CenTrak, located in Newtown, PA, South Korea and Chennai, India. The company, a consumer electronics company years earlier, launched an active RFID real time location system (RTLS) called TagAlert in 2005. Following the release of TagAlert, the company developed InTouch, an indoor positioning system targeting hospitals, long-term care and commercial facilities.
InTouch is is a zone based system – tag position is determined by the tag being within the presence of a receiver, or having just passed a receiver. Unlike a computational based system, where location is computed from the signal received at multiple receivers, the InTouch system uses receivers laid out in specific locations that act as gateways or choke points. When the presence of a tag is sensed by the receiver in a patient room, the system “locates” the tag in that room. Other zone based systems include Sonitor and RF Code. Some systems like AeroScout use both computational and zone methods to determine location
It is interesting to note that two vendors who previously touted infrared, Versus and Radianse, have downplayed the use of that technology. Rumors that another RTLS player was going to launch an infrared based RTLS remain just that – rumors.
What’s really interesting about InTouch is that the receivers are battery powered and wireless. This design feature joints Awarepoint and RadarFind as solutions that drastically reduce RTLS installation costs. Vendors with wired receivers require power and a network connection routed to each receiver, an expensive and trouble some proposition in most hospitals.
Pictured right is the InTouch Spider, their wireless battery powered infrared receiver.