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Thursday, February 22, 2007

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/22 at 07:59 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

“It’s funding crime and it’s funding drugs. If you buy stolen sat navs on eBay you could be getting your son or daughter hooked on heroin. All this stuff that gets nicked, they’re not nicking it to keep it for themselves - they’re selling it for drugs.”

Bracknell (UK) deputy commander Insp Simon Bowden on why he urges residents not to buy used, possible “hot” GPS receivers.


by Adena Schutzberg on 02/22 at 07:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Mayo Clinic has partnered with Digital Cyclone, a company Garmin acquired in January, to offer The Mayo Clinic InTouch wireless health program. Available this month on Alltel Wireless, Sprint, and other major carriers’ wireless phones, it offers step by step first aid information, diagnostic aids, videos and alerts. In addition, you can key in a ZIP Code or use internal GPS to find the nearest emergency and urgent care facilities, though no directions are provided. The service will be $2.99/month.

I’d offer one suggestion: make it searchable based on insurance programs the clinic takes. That, alas, is very important these days.

- Press Release

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/22 at 06:49 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today, Ekahau, a company that focuses on real-time location tracking solutions, released a tag for tracking people in an indoor environment. I spoke with Arttu Huhtiniemim, Director, Product Management about some of the use cases. In terms of Ekahau’s new product, the T301-B tag utilizes the private Wi-Fi network already in place at a location such as a hospital or a manufacturing plant where you want to track down employees. Now this is different than what we reported on recently with the agreement between Skyhook Wireless and SiRF which combines a GPS receiver with Skyhook’s Wi-Fi Position System because that relies on a public Wi-Fi network. Ekahau’s solution uses only the enterprise’s existing, private Wi-Fi network.

Last year, Ekahau launched an tag for tracking assets. The T301-B tag is another product in that series and is targeted specifically at tracking people. The new tag is slimmer than the T301-A tag that was released last year and has a different format factor. We have already reported on some of the applications that Ekahau is targeting such as the ability to hunt down a doctor or security guard who is urgently needed in addition to sending them a text message as the tag has an optional display that holds 30 characters of text.

Pricing information has not been released but Huhtiniemim says it will be more expensive than the tag for asset tracking because of some of the features mentioned above like the rechargeable battery.

The market for tracking people seems untapped as yet, and, as usual, privacy concerns will be raised. Asset tracking in healthcare is certainly a big market. But how often have you wondered where the doctor is or how you can get in touch with a co-worker who is late for a meeting?

To display the location of people, the solution will require the Ekahau Positioning Engine server software. The engine has open API for developing specific apps. But for an indoor application it will require that a floor plan, using a simple x/y coordinate system be recognized by the Positioning Engine. The user will draw a certain area, like a room or zone and then the location engine knows the area in which to find the person and display the results accordingly.

by Joe Francica on 02/22 at 05:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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