Feeds

Cisco preps Wi-Fi tracking kit

Keeping tabs on workers and wheelchairs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Cisco has announced a wireless tracking appliance designed to allow organisations to monitor the location of devices - or people - within a wireless local area network. The Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance, scheduled to ship in June 2005, uses technology acquired when Cisco bought wireless switch start-up Airespace earlier this year.

The appliance relies on the radio frequency (RF) fingerprinting capabilities of the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) to triangulate the location of 802.11-enabled devices to within approximately 5m. It can track wireless laptops, PDAs, Voice over wireless LAN (VoWLAN) handsets, rogue access points and clients and devices equipped with active 802.11 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. The location of each device is graphically displayed on floor plans within the Cisco WCS.

The technology will initially only work using Airespace access points, but Cisco plans a software update to allow it to work with its complete range of wireless LAN kit. Cisco sees the technology as a platform for partners such as IBM Global Services and wireless asset tracking specialist PanGo Networks to develop location-based services akin to those under development by mobile operators but tailored towards the needs of enterprises such as hospitals and factories.

Phil Dean, manager of applications networking for Cisco EMEA, said applications could include asset tracking (locating of high-end medical equipment or wheelchairs within hospitals) or inventory management. Dean said research by US analysts suggests hospitals are unable to find between 10 and 15 per cent of the devices they own. "Devices are mostly misplaced rather than stolen," he said. More controversially the technology could be used to track key personnel. Also, when integrated with Voice over Wireless LAN systems, it could be used to create enhanced "panic response" services.

Staff would wear active RFID tags (made by firms like Aeroscout these devices contain their own power supply and cost a few dollars compared to a few cents for passive tags) on their uniform.

The Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance will cost from $14,995. ®

Related stories

Enterprise WLAN firms update switch tech
Cisco to buy Airespace
World Cup tickets will contain RFID chips
IVF clinics may tag embryos
EU consults on RFID technology
RSA looks ahead on RFID security
Parent power detags US schoolkids

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.