Boeing, EDS, Ford, and General Motors among end users that drive quick adoption of new standard sanctioned by the American National Standards Institute
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—August 7, 2003—WhereNet Corp., a provider of wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced its compliance with the technical standard for real-time locating systems (RTLS) recently adopted by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS). This new standard defines two air interface protocols and an application programming interface (API) to facilitate broad international adoption and integration of wireless location systems by Global 2000 companies. INCITS is accredited by, and operates under rules approved by, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Through remarkable collaboration among end users, government entities, and vendors, the INCITS T20 committee developed and adopted the location system standard in just 18 months. As the world's leading provider of wireless location systems, WhereNet expects that its compliance with this standard will accelerate economies of scale driven by orders from a host of new customers, partners, and infrastructure providers.
"Through WhereNet's 25+ customers alone, the wireless location system market has already delivered proven, real-world, bottom-line business benefits," said Tim Harrington, vice president of product strategies for WhereNet. "By creating a de facto global standard for tracking mobile assets in campus-wide environments, more vendors will get involved in building out RTLS architectures. More importantly, these newly established standards will benefit end users who have longed for a solution that shines light on the multitude of black holes in their supply chains."
Global Leaders and Government Back Standard
More than 20 organizations, including Boeing, Baxter Health Care, Cisco Systems, Defense Logistics Agency, EDS, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, General Motors, Symbol Technologies, and WhereNet, jointly developed the standard to encourage widespread use of wireless location technology. Unlike radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which has been plagued by proprietary systems that often result in integration bottlenecks, RTLS technology will now operate under a universal standard and be easily implemented across highly dynamic and complex supply chains.
Used in conjunction with bar codes and RFID, RTLS provides constant, accurate data of every "tagged" asset and automatically conveys each asset's location and status information to the mobile workforce or enterprise systems tasked with managing those assets. RTLS systems allow users to locate, manage and optimize mobile assets throughout the supply chain to reduce operational costs, increase productivity, and realize dramatic return on investment (ROI). With a typical installation period of 90 days and an established ROI of less than one year, WhereNet's wireless location solutions are widely recognized for their bottom-line benefits to Fortune 500 corporations.
The fundamental goal of the standard was to allow for compatibility and to encourage interoperability of products for the growing RTLS market. The INCITS T20 committee divided the standard into two parts: One part defines two air interfaces (INCITS 371.1 and 371.2) with multiple subcomponents for a class of RTLS systems, while the second part of the standard (INCITS 371.3) defines an API for RTLS for use in asset management.
INCITS 371.1, one of the two air interface protocols, establishes a technical standard for RTLS transmitters operating in 2.4-GHz ISM frequency bands at appropriate license-free power levels for the United States, with broad international application.
INCITS 371.2, the other air interface protocol, establishes a technical standard for RTLS transmitters operating in 433-MHz frequency bands at appropriate license-free power levels for the United States, with broad international application.
INCITS 371.3 is a national standard defining an API specification that allows for interoperability between the RTLS architecture and the host computer system.