People Tracking: Closing the “Transmitter Gap”

People tracking is becoming increasingly important in many industries and business sectors for understandable reasons. On the one hand, it is an instrument to protect your own staff in case of crisis or accidents and on the other hand, it also prevents unauthorized persons from entering rooms or parts of buildings. People Tracking can even fulfil this function if the unauthorised person is NOT equipped with a transmitter.

Normally, the person whose movements are to be tracked requires a so-called tag. This tag transmits signals that are picked up by gateways or receivers and usually forwarded to a backend via WiFi. The back end provides position data almost in real time. This tag can be integrated into a wearable/wristband, for example, as has long been common practice on cruise ships or in other tourist facilities.

For industrial applications, it would be more appropriate to use an employee or visitor badge. This is possible by means of so-called card beacons, which are roughly the size of a credit card. Of course, each tag is assigned to a certain person and of course, this person can be assigned certain authorizations in the backend.

Is BLE person tracking a suitable security instrument?

A serious security gap arises in this case if people gain access to the monitored parts of a building without wearing a tag. For the BLE infrastructure they are invisible without a transmitter. This means that in order to ensure complete surveillance, a way must be created to identify such persons as well. For this purpose, the tracking infrastructure must be extended by or combined with another technology.

Motion detectors or optical recognition systems are suitable for this. Although these detect persons or register movements, they cannot distinguish whether the person is authorized for the monitored area or not – except by complex and still easily levered out facial recognition software.

What no technology alone can do is achieved through the combination with Bluetooth based people tracking. An exclusion algorithm closes the transmitter gap. The optical system detects a person or a movement in the room and reports this event to the backend. There it is verified whether BLE signals are sent by the person. If the comparison shows that no signals are received from the position, further measures can be initiated automatically, for example, informing the security service. If BLE signals are registered, this means that a person with a tag is there. The authorization levels are also checked. If this check is negative, all security-relevant measures can be initiated.

With the help of optical detection systems, it is also possible to check not only rooms but also zones within large areas for unauthorised access. Instead of physical barriers with a single entrance, which will always become a bottleneck for authorised persons, invisible barriers can be drawn, which can be crossed by authorised persons at any point, but not unnoticed by unauthorised persons.

Flexible interface is crucial for people tracking

The challenge is to merge the data from the two systems, which must be integrated into one backend. A flexible API is therefore important. However, many providers of tracking solutions consistently rely on closed systems. Favendos Commander backend, on the other hand, is equipped with an open JSON/REST push/pull API as standard, which enables the integration of data into other systems and at the same time opens the Favendo solutions for the integration of data from other systems. 

In addition, our solutions communicate via the de facto standard M2M message protocol MQTT to transfer sensor information and enable all services depending on real-time location data.

So in the end it is the flexible API that effectively bridges the transmitter gap. 


Meet Favendo

Favendo is the trusted partner for superior Real Time Location Services. Our Team is committed to providing timely and cost effective solutions for cruise industry, large shopping malls, public venues, industrial surroundings and more. To offer our customers the most suitable system we partner with Quuppa and Abeeway. Come and meet Favendo.