The IoT industry and the potential it holds to revolutionize the way we improve our lives through technology continues to be the hot topic across industry events. This year at the 2016 Bosch Connected World annual IoT conference in Berlin, experts highlighted not only how the IoT can bring connectivity to many of our everyday items, but also addressed how technology can bring other forms of very valuable information in the form of micro-location technology.
This year, Bosch itself, highlighted this improvement in the technology and how it is bringing value to industries using the industrial sector and its Track and Trace system as an example in Bosch COO Dr. Werner Struth’s keynote demo. Using Decawave’s Ultra-Wideband (UWB) wireless micro-location technology paired with Quantitec, a RTLS indoor positioning company, integrated into its Track and Trace solution, Struth offered a live demo of technology that tracked the location in real-time of four power tools as he and Dirk Slama, Director of Business Development at Bosch Software Innovations, walked around the stage and moved with them.
What makes this year’s demo unique is that it gave a before and after comparison of how tracking and indoor positioning technology solutions are improving year over year. Last year the Track and Trace solution offered 8-10 meters of location accuracy. But this year, with the Decawave and Quantitec technology integrated into it, the location accuracy of tracking the tools went down to 10 cm – a 100x improvement compared to last year WiFi based indoor location system.
The ability to track intelligent, industrial power tools with high-level location accuracy enables manufacturers to make their processes more precise for quicker and safer production turnaround. The industrial sector requires a lot of work and products that rely on the exact measurement of the location of things, down to centimeters of where a nail is placed. Using this Decawave and Quantitec’s technology as an example, the keynote demonstrated how real-time location technology applications combined with connectivity can be used to enhance end-user applications for manufacturing customers and enable them to automate their systems for enhanced production turnaround and efficiency for shop floor transparency.
Decawave uses micro-location ultra-wideband technology to locate any object within 10cm – a level of precision never achieved before. Compliant to the IEEE802.15.4a standard, the chip also has a data communications rate of 6.8 Mbps in wireless sensor networks (WSN); and can operate in low-power situations in line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight applications. The technology can be used in a range of applications by developers of indoor positioning systems, location-based services, Internet of Things and WSN.
Many emerging applications are demanding an even greater degree of location precision and reliability and the ability to operate seamlessly indoors and outdoors. Our goal is to meet that demand and grow the adoption of micro-location technology to improve the way our connected things communicate. The demo we were a part of at Bosch Connected World was an excellent opportunity to showcase how the technology can work and educate the manufacturing sector on how real-time location information can bring them value by making their processes more efficient.