Vendors adding to wireless location-tracking products

Wireless vendors Ekahau, PanGo and Trapeze Vendor showcase new wares

PanGo's latest

PanGo's new V3 tag is also Wi-Fi based. It uses an 11b/g chipset from G2 Microsystems, but it can transmit in either of two modes. In one, it's a full 11b/g client associating fully with an access point. In the second, it lightly touches the access point, transmitting only its MAC address and battery status for identification and location purposes.

One difference from Ekahau is that the PanGo tag incorporates the Cisco Certified Extensions Tag Protocol, designed to link such devices with Cisco's access points and its 2700 Location Appliance.

The V3 is 2.5" x 1.7" x 0.7", which is large enough to accept one standard AA battery, and can wring out up to five years of operation, though that varies greatly depending on the actual application and the amount of communication between tag and access point.

It's also configured with an alert button, to send preconfigured alerts or alarms. Once attached to an object, the tag can notice when it's detached, and then automatically send a warning. It also incorporates a motion detector: When the object moves, the tag notices and can be programmed to transmit an alert.

The PanGo V3 tag is available now.

Trapeze's location play

To capitalize on what it sees as a burgeoning enterprise market for wireless asset tracking, Trapeze Networks is offering the LA200 Location Appliance, a rack-mounted box with software that can use an existing wireless LAN to track as many as 2,000 wireless devices, including wireless laptops and handhelds, and third-party active Wi-Fi tags.

The core technology is licensed from Newbury Networks. Among other things, Newbury uses a location technique called server-side pattern matching. Several wireless LAN access points collect the Received Signal Strength Indication reading from a given wireless client and pass this to the server software, which calculates the client's position. Newbury says this is more accurate than other techniques.

A network administrator configures and manages the LA200 with a graphical dashboard application.

Trapeze's chief, and formidable, rival for such a product is Cisco, with its 2700 Location Application. No other major WLAN vendors offer a similar solution on their own.

The LA200 ships this month for about US$15,000.

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