Four Hubs will be able to provide positioning coverage of a 2200sqft (~204sqm) venue. With 9 Hubs will be able to provide a positioning coverage of a 16,000 sqft (~1486sqm) venue.To determine how many Hubs are need for your venue consider that the ideal spacing of Hubs is 33 to 50 feet (10 to 15m).
The Hubs observe Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals being transmitted by surround Bluetooth beacons. The data collected by the Hubs uses HTTPS and the Internet to send this data to our Fathom Positioning Engine.
The Hubs have built-in WiFi 802.11g support as well as an Ethernet port. The advantage of using Power over Ethernet (PoE) is that the it supplies both power and network to Hub with a single cable especially in use-cases where electrical outlets are not available. Please note the Hub require an adapter to support PoE.
How are Hubs communicating with the beacons? We have other wireless technologies in the area so would there be interference?
Bluetooth LE beacons operate within the 2.4GHz spectrum. This is the same as WiFi. Although they share the same range their operating channels do not overlap and will not cause interference.
Yes, the Fathom Locator system can work with any Bluetooth beacon transmits a static MAC address.
Yes, but it requires an app to be installed on the smartphone.
RFID is designed for scanning a device within close range (usually standing in front of it). Some systems have greater range, up to 10m, but that also comes at greater cost. RFID is a proximity technology, not a location technology. It is generally not able to locate something with exact X and Y coordinates, you just know that the item you are scanning for is nearby. There are two types of RFID, passive and active. Passive RFID tags uses stickers that you can place on merchandise or access cards (like those used for secure access to a building). This requires the reader or detecting device to be in near range. In busy locations, multiple readers are required at costs of approx. $2,000 each. Active RFID tags are powered by batteries or plugged into the wall. Active RFID would effectively have the same functionality that is offered by Bluetooth beacons but does not have the locating ability that Fathom Hubs provide. Industrial RFID tags are typically more expensive than Bluetooth beacons. ABI reports that total cost of ownership of RFID, including the requisite asset management software, can easily reach over $1 million for a large warehouse. When comparing RFID with Fathom, there are two considerations:
1) Do you want to have staff walking up to assets and scanning them (RFID) or do you want an automated scanning system from a distance (Fathom)
2) Is the cost of setting up a few Hubs with Fathom Control going to be less than the investment in multiple RFID readers?
We would be happy to assess this for customers considering the two technologies.