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 are placed in a network to observe BLE devices in coverage, share the collected data and together determine their positions. Positioning data is uploaded via HTTPS from the Hubs to data repository for processing to achieve accuracy data.
How are Hubs communicating with the beacons? We have other wireless technologies in the area so would there be interference?
Beacons broadcast messages via the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol and our Hub listens to these messages. BLE operates at a 2.4GHz frequency and WiFi networks also use 2.4GHz along with 5.0GHz. BLE devices operate with low energy and low TX power requirements many times lower than WiFi and therefore BLE will have no noticeable affect on WiFi signals.
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.