Trapeze Networks has launched a purpose-built appliance that can locate tagged assets over its Wi-Fi LANs.
The LA-200, in fact a location appliance launched last year by location specialist Newbury Networks, is particularly aimed at the healthcare market, where expensive assets must be tracked, along with staff and patients, who can wear Wi-Fi badges.
"We have found, in the last three to four months, a rapid growing interest in location technology within the healthcare segment," said Bart Tillmans, marketing director, EMEA for Trapeze. While most Wi-Fi location systems use middleware on general purpose PCs, Trapeze adopted a specialist appliance so as to integrate it more tightly into Trapeze's WLAN infrastructure, he explained: "We had to make it a Trapeze box, and we will be integrating it closer into our management platform. It's a great opportunity to integrate location into [Trapeze's management software] Rringmaster."
The Newbury appliance gives faster and more accurate location data, as well as an API that can be used for developing location-aware applications, said Tillmans. It can work with tags from major vendors including Aeroscout, PanGo and Ekahau, or else those tags can be used with their own proprietary management platforms, said Tillmans.
This week, Nortel - which sells Wi-Fi LANs based on Trapeze technology - also announced support for location applications. This is based on software from Ekahau, but without using a specialist appliance.
Wi-Fi tags can be read at a greater range than passive RFID, and have improved over the last few years to give a longer battery life - lasting several years now, said Tillmans. Newbury is also known for its security product, Wi-Fi Watchdog, which uses location technology to ban devices connecting from outside the perimeter.
The appliance costs $14,995 in the US.