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What is the difference between IPS and RTLS

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Posted on: 11/18/20

Generally, location services can be divided into Proximity solution and Positioning system. The positioning system can be further divided into two types: RTLS and IPS.


Real-time location system (RTLS): used for asset tracking and personnel tracking in facilities. RTLS solution is a network-centric system in which the location is tracked and reported to the back-end server, which provides this information to the user. Usually, the device itself does not know its location.

For example, these solutions can locate and track pallets, forklifts and workers in warehouses, or the location of ultrasound machines and patients in hospitals, thereby helping to ensure safety and optimize response time in emergency situations. You might also be interested in: Bluetooth beacons

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Indoor Positioning System (IPS): IPS solutions work in the opposite way to RTLS solutions – they are device-centric, let the device know its location and report the location to the user of the device (usually through a smartphone app). Some examples of indoor positioning systems include indoor navigation in airports, museums, shopping malls, theme parks, healthcare facilities, conference centers, etc.

Examples of IPS solutions include indoor navigation systems (wayfinding) and automated guided vehicles (AGV).

Beacon is one of the methods of Indoor Positioning.

Beacons are small standalone devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy technology to regularly transmit identifying information. A smartphone can detect the presence of beacons within range and make an approximation of distance based on relative signal strength.

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