Accuware will be at CTIA Super Mobility 2016 in Las Vegas from Sept 7th through 9th, booth 6132. This year we have, once again, new and exciting indoor location products to show off.
This has been another year of innovation at Accuware. We are launching new products that leverage image and video processing, in addition to expanded features on our WiFi and iBeacons-based products. And we are truly excited to be able to demonstrate them at CTIA, the event about everything wireless.
Locating, tracking and monitoring
Indoor location insiders know of Accuware as the specialist in locating, tracking and monitoring people and assets in the physical world. For over a decade, our products have pushed the boundaries, both in global and indoor location applications in industries such as retail, hospitality, museums, event marketing, healthcare, entertainment and logistics, among many others.
Based on WiFi and cellular phone signals, our indoor location products have delivered location accuracy ranging from sub-meter (about 3 feet) up to 5 meters (15 feet). Such performance has enabled building real-time locating systems (RTLS) for people and assets tracking that deliver floor and room-level accuracy, monitoring systems for analyzing visitors’ behavior in a venue, mobile apps for indoor navigation, people counting systems, geofencing and proximity-based applications.
In the quest for higher performance, we have now turned to image and video processing, in addition to WiFi and iBeacons.
Our 2016 products rollout
After well over a year of research and development, we are releasing a couple of new products, and new features on our existing products.
Accuware Wearabouts for Android and iOS
Wearabouts initially relied solely on ambient WiFi signals for indoor location, and a blend of cellular phone and WiFi signals for global positioning. Since its debut, Wearabouts for Android has made tracking accessible for a wide range of uses in WiFi-rich indoor areas.
Wearabouts’ latest version has learnt a few new tricks:
- Wearabouts for iOS relies on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals and iBeacons to enable indoor tracking for iPhones, iPads and iWatches.
- Wearabouts for Android has added image processing using the device’s camera to enable locating in areas where WiFi signals are weak or non-existent.
These new features expand considerably the reach and capabilities of a flexible and affordable tracking system for people and assets. We envision applications in healthcare, care for the elderly, logistics, manufacturing, and in general, any industry where the ability to find a person, a pet or a thing in real time, with high accuracy, is a must.
Accuware Video Identifier
Accuware Sentinel (formerly Video Tracker) is our first foray into a whole different technology: video processing. Video Identifier is our first application.
This time is not about detecting ambient radio signals, but instead, about processing the video streaming from a closed-circuit TV system covering an area, to detect individuals, encode their appearance, and be able to recognize them if and when they appear again in front of a camera.
Though the system does not use face recognition, we have successfully created the ability for the system to identify, category and recognize human appearance and map it to geographic coordinates within a venue. The setup process enables the to relate the areas covered by each camera with their corresponding geographic parameters: latitude, longitude and level (1st floor, 2nd floor, basement…).
We anticipate Video Identifier and Sentinel applications to be mainly in security, hospitality, and healthcare. But we are sure that, as soon as the product is out, and its capabilities understood, our clients will surprise us by envisioning many other applications we haven’t dreamed of.
Based on image processing, Dragonfly is a visual positioning system (VPS) that uses a mobile device’s camera to snap pictures of its environment, detecting “paper beacons” (Markers), which enable it to compute client-side, the device’s geographic coordinates: latitude and longitude, in addition to level and altitude off the floor.
What is a “paper beacon” or Marker? It’s a 2-dimensional image that encodes the coordinates of the location the Marker is placed at: latitude, longitude, level and altitude. Markers are simplified QR codes generated with a printer. And when a camera image from a mobile device identifies one of them, the horizontal and vertical angles with which their image is captured enables the client-side software to estimate its position with respect to that marker with an accuracy of about 10 cm/4 inches.
Applications of Dragonfly that first come to mind include providing autonomous mobile robots (AMR) with their accurate position within a venue. And of course, since altitude is also computed, Dragonfly should be applicable to robots of the flying kind: drones flying indoors.
We anticipate that Dragonfly will complement nicely the technologies deployed in automated warehouses, within the realm of logistics. As to drones, applications that rely on flying them indoors, in a controlled pattern will make good use of location. For example, urban farming, where crops are grown in warehouses under controlled conditions, may be a natural area for their use, to perform automated inspections.
Accuware is an engineering-driven company that develops horizontal products to serve a wide variety of industries. We strive to provide cost-effective, easy to deploy and maintain products that are easy to integrate into complete solutions. And our world-wide technical support coverage helps us ensure that our customers and partners succeed.
We work directly with customers, and through a network of Application and Implementation Partners, which gives us worldwide reach across many industries.
Visit us at CTIA 2016 and talk to us about your requirements for location-aware applications. We listen. And are very likely to have the answer that meets your needs.