Why indoor tracking?
Indoor tracking, also known as an Indoor Positioning System, is a network of devices used to locate objects or people inside buildings with several floors such as airports, medical facilities, warehouses, educational facilities, hospital buildings and hospitality constructions. Indoor tracking is often used when GPS lack precision or can’t be used at all. Matchmore’s indoor solution can easily track numerous moving objects and/or people within large crowds in large areas.

What challenges do indoor tracking solve?
No matter what business or industry you are in, keeping track of your assets or people can sometimes be difficult. Matchmore’s tracking solution supports asset management as well as people management.

An indoor tracking solution will decrease the lost time searching for objects, avoid loss of equipment and reduce investment in over-inventory to ensure accessibility of assets. Also, a proper and precise asset management will eliminate delays on compulsory maintenance.

In terms of people management, an indoor tracking solution is able to locate staff and/or clients, monitor room utilization, understand workflows and act as guidance. In addition to all this, an indoor tracking solution can be used to identify and manage emergencies more efficiently.

The above-mentioned advantages of a proper indoor tracking solution in real-time will lead to process improvements. Thanks to suitable tracking, you will be able to understand, analyze and put in actions accordingly.

Overview of existing tracking solutions
We have created a simple overview of the existing tracking solutions and their features.

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Image source: Infsoft

As visible in the image, several technologies can be used to deploy indoor tracking solutions. However, they all differ in accuracy, range, suitability areas, tracking objects, power supplies, battery lifetime and installation complexity.

Takeaways from this is image is that BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy, allows to cover 80% of use cases related to indoor tracking. It offers a decent precision (< 8m with BLE 4.0, < 1m with BLE 5.1) with a high battery lifetime and is more affordable and easier to install than other competing technologies. Thus, Matchmore has decided to focus first on BLE for its indoor tracking module characteristics but will extend the system to other technologies in the coming months.

Indoor tracking use cases with BLE
In order to help you to get your imagination flowing of how indoor tracking can help you and your organization, here are some use cases with BLE:

Picture-1

Asset tracking allows you to track almost any objects, this could be anything from a hospital bed to an item in a large warehouse.
People tracking lets you know where the right person is when you quickly need to know, as for example a doctor in an emergency.
Fences and alerts help to send the right messages at the right time to the right people. This could be both when entering and exiting an area.
Analytics will help you to understand and analyze your processes and be able to take actions and improve.
Navigation will assist you, your employees, your clients or partners to be able to find their way around.
Proximity services will give access to different kind of services (point of information, call to the nearest agent, ordering, etc.) when getting close to a beacon or a gateway.

System overview
Let’s dive into a use case where a smart indoor tracking solution can be applied. Since we like smart hospitals, here is a system overview for indoor tracking in a hospital.

Screenshot-2019-09-28-at-12.28.02

With Matchmore, several information (name, characteristics, status, ownership, …) are associated to a Bluetooth beacon which broadcast its presence continuously. Bluetooth scanners, placed at strategical locations, can identify presence of tags and report it to Matchmore cloud platform. When an operator is searching something, the Matchmore core system will match his query with the information attached to the objects and provide the location of the associated tag. It can’t get better than this!

Fundamental competitive advantage
The main fundamental competitive advantages between a standard indoor tracking system and Matchmore’s indoors tracking system lies in the difference between pull and push technologies. Standard indoor tracking systems use a pull methodology, and devices are assigned to a person or an object in a static database. Matchmore’s indoor tracking system, however, is based on a push technology, meaning that information is attached to a device dynamically and based on context. The difference can simply be explained like this:

Standard indoor tracking: Each info is statically indexed in a data base and accessible only on query. This system is simple but lacks flexibility in defining temporary attributes linked to an object and on search methods.

Matchmore indoor tracking solution: Each info is active for a defined period of time and accessible in the vicinity of a device. There is no limit in the number of information that can be assigned to a device. Moreover, the push query model allows to receive asynchronous notifications: a user can be notified when he gets close to the object he was looking for or when an object is moved from a defined area.

BLE indoor tracking by Matchmore and Specific Matchmore features
The indoor tracking module developed by Matchmore also differentiates from competitors by providing additional features to the system:

Fundamental-competive-advantages

Dynamic Data Model

  • Attach dynamic information to a device and deliver automatically the right info to the right person
  • Find assets and people by name or based on characteristics, status and availability
  • Track in real time or on query
  • No need to store hundreds of gigabytes of unfiltered data

Access to proximity service
Easily add proximity services, accessible through a mobile application, to your system using the same infrastructure such as:

  • Point of information,
  • Call to the nearest agent
  • Ordering
  • Virtual queuing system
  • Automated shift reporting

Open ecosystem

  • Device and vendor agnostic
  • Multimodal system directly compatible with GPS and QR codes
  • Expanding ecosystem to new forms of context (temperature, humidity, movement, …)
  • Custom development to integrate your own devices

Easy to integrate

  • Directly plug the tracking module into your existing asset/people management system
  • Low integration costs
  • Link to third party services
  • Easy expansion of the system
  • Opt-in a "module" orientation to decrease your total cost of ownership

Architecture overview
If you are geeky enough to be interested by the architecture, here is an overview. If you need more details, don’t hesitate to directly contact us!
Architechture-overview

Last words
If you are interested in to know more about Matchmore’s smart indoor tracking module with dynamic data model, don’t hesitate to contact my colleague Mitch at michel.demarsano@matchmore.com.