Ekahau Debuts Third-Generation Wi-Fi Tag

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New, Smaller Format Tag Features Five-Year Battery Life, Enhanced Functionality and Lower Cost

Ekahau Inc. today announced the availability of its third-generation Wi-Fi tag, which utilizes new technology that drives down the cost of deploying real-time location systems (RTLS) while improving functionality.

Designed for tracking assets and people via Ekahau RTLS, the T301-A Wi-Fi tag is smaller than previous models, has a battery life of up to five years and contains two call buttons for triggering other applications. The new design includes a tamper switch and motion sensor. Ekahau RTLS is a turn-key enterprise asset and people tracking solution that can be deployed over any brand of existing enterprise Wi-Fi network.

Unique to the T301-A Wi-Fi tag is two-way communications for remote tag management. The two-way communication capabilities allow for automatic wireless configuration of the tags parameters, activation the tags buzzer and LEDs, and updating of software. Because device management can be done remotely and requires no extra hardware, the two-way communications capabilities lower customers total cost of ownership.

With this new, third-generation tag design, Ekahau is delivering the industrys most competitive and cost-effective location tracking solution, said Arttu Huhtiniemi, director of product management, at Ekahau. The T301-A tag further strengthens Ekahaus position as the recognized innovation leader in the RTLS marketplace. 

Industry segments such as healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and government will fuel continued demand for location tracking solutions, such as the Ekahau RTLS.  According to BearingPoint Inc.s RFID in Healthcare December 2005 survey, 42 percent of U.S. hospitals report that they are planning to adopt an RTLS solution in the near future. A similar number of high-tech and electronics manufacturers plan to do the same, according to eyefortransports Hi-Tech and Electronics Logistics Report 2006.

Ekahau is the first company to go to market with a tag that utilizes the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) from G2 Microsystems Inc. The SoC is an ultra low-power solution that is designed for active RFID and RTLS applications. As a result of a very high integration level, the G2 Microsystems chip significantly increases the battery life and reduces the cost of a Wi-Fi based RTLS tag. The T301 demonstrates that Wi-Fi based RTLS tags can meet the demanding requirements of RTLS applications in healthcare, high tech, and other industries, said John Gloekler, president and CEO of G2 Microsystems. G2 is committed to developing a family of ultra low-power SoCs allowing customers like Ekahau to design Wi-Fi tags that meet a range of price/performance points.

The T301-A Wi-Fi tag is about the size of a book of matches, weighing less than 2 ounces (50 grams) and measuring 1.8 x 2.2 x 0.7 inches (44 x 55 x 19 millimeters). This small form factor allows the tag to attach to tracked equipment either temporarily or permanently including small or oddly shaped items using double-sided tape, cable ties, straps and other mechanisms depending on the application. For persons needing to be tracked, the tag can be carried in a pocket or worn on a wristband. A water- and dust-proof enclosure allows the tag to be used in various environments, including outdoors and indoors under dusty or wet conditions, such as factories or mines.

The tag will run up to five years on single batteries. When the battery is nearly empty, maintenance personnel will be automatically alerted via the Ekahau RTLS platform. The T301-A contains two buttons that can be configured to trigger alarms or send other messages to associated applications. The tag, which can be managed remotely from anywhere within the wireless coverage area, also has LEDs and buzzers that can be triggered for visual or audible detection of the asset or person being tracked.

Ekahau expects to begin limited shipments of the new tag to existing customers in June, with general availability through Ekahau and its authorized resellers worldwide beginning in September. The U.S. list price for the T301-A will start at $50, with quantity discounts.

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