R/€ = 13.83
R/$ = 11.04
Au 1172.85 $/oz
Pt 1231.00 $/oz
Nov 08, 2002
Tracking technology growing rapidlyBack
SECURITY|Cable|Industrial|Measurement|Security|System|Systems|Security|Active Tag Products|Active-tag Technologies|Active-tagnTechnologies|Barcode Technology|Basic Wireless Tracking Identification|Basic WirelessnTracking Identification|Identification Systems|Information Communication Technology|Personnel Using Wireless Technology|PersonnelnUsing Wireless Technology|Potential Identification Technologies|Products|Prominent Technology|Radio Identification Systems|Security|Services|Systems|Wireless Communications Technology|Wireless Tracking|Wireless Tracking Field|ISM|Albert Gazendam|Phemelo Baholo|Power|Security|Cable|Cobra (GPSM2500) Car GPS Receiver|3G|Active-tag Technologies|Active-tagnTechnologies|Barcode Technology|Bluetooth|Built-in Discovery Protocols|Built-innDiscovery Protocols|Cable-replacement Technology|Cable-replacementnTechnology|Communication Technologies|CSIR Information Communication Technology|Distance-measurement Technology|Ethernet|GPS|GSM|Location-finding Technology|Location-findingnTechnology|Low-power, Short-range Radio Technology|Low-power, Short-rangenRadio Technology|Measurement |Personnel Using Wireless Technology|PersonnelnUsing Wireless Technology|Potential Identification Technologies|Prominent Technology|Wireless Communications Technology
© Reuse this The evolution of wireless communications technology has brought about a revolution in the wireless tracking field. There is a proliferation of products designed to track assets and personnel using wireless technology. Some of these products have been quietly deployed and are already part of people's daily lives. There is a growing need to track the location and movement of valuable assets and items, due to various reasons, such as security and improvements in productivity. "Tracking technologies are used in applications ranging from plant and animal tracking, to freight management, to tracking for crime prevention and other social reasons," explains CSIR information communication technology (Icomtek) unit telecomms analyst Albert Gazendam.
Wireless tracking is best divided into two categories: identification and position tracking. Identification systems identify items within a limited range, whereas tracking systems determine the position of items.
Asset identification has been dominated by barcode technology for a long time. However, there has recently been increasing interest in radio identification systems. The prominent technology in this area is radio frequency identification (RFID). First used commercially at the beginning of the 1960s for electronic article surveillance to counter theft, RFID has been adopted as a basic wireless tracking identification standard worldwide.
Emerging high-performance active tag products operate within the 2,45 GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band while their passive counterparts have been proposed for operation within disjointed ultrahigh-frequency bands that have not yet been harmonised across the world. "It is expected that these active-tag technologies will be both conscious of and considerate to the other communication system standards that currently operate within the ISM band," says CSIR Icomtek telecomms analyst Phemelo Baholo. There are other potential identification technologies, namely infra-red data association (IrDA) and Bluetooth. IrDA is a communication standard based on infra-red light. It is commonly used in mobile devices for less-expensive point-to-point communication. Bluetooth is a low-cost, low-power, short-range radio technology developed originally as a cable-replacement technology. These communication technologies have built-in discovery protocols, which make them suitable for identification tracking purposes.
In terms of positioning tracking, global positioning system (GPS) tracking systems use satellites to pinpoint the location of a tracked object and can locate an object anywhere in the world. Assisted GPS (A-GPS) is newly-improved GPS that can be used to pinpoint mobile devices. This method was created to improve accuracy to some centimetres, by using conventional GPS together with wireless networks, such as global system mobile (GSM), to improve performance.
Mostly used in animal tracking, RF tracking also includes telemetry to determine information about an animal. Most radio tracking systems involve transmitters tuned to different frequencies (analogous to different AM/FM radio stations) that allow individual identification.
The wireless Ethernet standard (802.11b) and Bluetooth can also be used to accurately locate mobile devices in small areas like homes and business premises. Two techniques to locate mobile devices are distance-measurement technology and location-finding technology.
The location-based services market is still in its infancy, and is expected to boom with the rollout of third generation (3G) networks. Knowledge of the position of a given subscriber making a call is of particular interest to mobile operators, who can in turn provide innovative lucrative location-based services with the help of third parties.
Although wireless tracking is growing and gaining acceptance, the technology still poses serious legal concerns in some cases. Personal privacy is potentially threatened by location-based services in two main ways. These are the ability of unauthorised surveillance and the creation of databases containing detailed individual profiles. Wireless tracking has been adopted in many countries because of the need for asset security and management. Vehicle-tracking and fleet- management services are some of the prominent applications in the market today. The development of modern GSM and 3G cellular networks has triggered the development of location-based services which, with the convergence of wireless local-area networks, Bluetooth and cellular communication, is going to play a significant role in future tracking applications.
Edited by: candice haase© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Telecommunications and Call Centres News
Communications satellite operator Arab Satellite Communication Organisation (Arabsat), a platinum sponsor at SatCom Africa 2014, has released a request for proposal for the procurement of four new satellites to be named HS3, HS4, ARB6E and ARB6A, set to launch in...
News agency Reuters has adopted a satellite news gathering (SNG) service from communications services provider Avanti Communications in South Africa, which is exhibiting at SatCom Africa 2014, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from May 19 to 21. Deploying...
A content delivery partnership between worldwide software provider IMImobile and media company African Press Organisation (APO) is set to deliver an exclusive feed of Africa-related news releases issued by governments, institutions, nongovernmental organisations,...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...