Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) are precise positioning systems that not only enable a user to identify and track many different types of key objects including assets, tools, equipment, containers, work-in-progress items and people, but also provide this information in real time through automatic and continuous feedback.

An RTLS solution provides immediate insight into precisely where something is or has been – and in some instances what it has done – via constant communication between the system and the object being tracked. If required, devices can determine their own location, and can report that location, with the tag or location-aware device storing the unique identity and other information about the object it is attached to.

RFID VERSUS RTLS

RFID Systems have a small action range, giving visibility to an asset when it passes within the action range of a device.

Passive technologies such as RFID and bar codes are optimal solutions for a wide range of applications of structured traceability where the short time within range is not a critical problem.

RTLS involves a different automatic locating technology that uses wireless signals to determinate the exact position of assets and people using tags.

RTLS systems include transponder tags that report the high-range signal at regular intervals, positioning sensors that receive and manage the tag signals and positioning devices that gather and correlate data.

 

RFID

 

RTLS

 
RFID tags are read as they pass specific, fixed points

RTLS tags and devices are ‘read’ automatically and continuously
Limited range and sporadic sensing

Full-perimeter localization and continuous, real-time tracking
The passage of assets is detected at stationary points or with handheld readers, in a structured, fixed process

No intervention or monitoring process is needed to determine asset location