Darren Liu, Product Director & Senior Engineer of Blueiot, discusses the use of RTLS in manufacturing, its impact on logistics & smart buildings
Hello Darren! Please introduce yourself and your role.
“Dear all readers of Healthcare Global, I am Darren Liu, the Product Director of Blueiot and in charge of the R&D department. In my spare time, I am really into sports like swimming and hiking.”
What led you to this industry?
“Both of my major and previous work experience were related to electronics and Internet of Things, so I always keep a close eye on the development of related industries, among which indoor positioning is showing great potential.
“We all know that modern people spend most of their time indoors and indoor location data is also important technical information, so there is an increasing demand for high precision positioning. This is a new and rapidly developing industry, just like GPS 20 years ago. Given that we are now at the turning point and it is highly possible to create more benefits and value, I do have great confidence in this industry.”
Tell us about working in Beijing.
“Beijing is an international capital city as well as the centre of a fast-growing economy, advanced technology and culture to merge. It provides young people with a lot of opportunities to be creative and successful.”
What is Blueiot Technology Co., Ltd.?
“Blueiot (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd is a world leading RTLS (Real-Time Location System) provider and was founded in 2020 by Tsingoal Location Group which is a UWB-based RTLS leader with over eight years of experience in the industry. Headquartered in Beijing with 4 more technical centres, Blueiot boasts an outstanding R&D team, consisting of professional talents from Cornell University, University College London, University of Warwick, King's College London, Tsinghua University, and other prestigious institutions.
“Upon the release of Bluetooth Core Specification v5.1, Tsingoal leaders foresaw a promising future to apply Bluetooth technology to RTLS. That is why Blueiot was established. So far, Blueiot and its partners have successfully used the Bluetooth AoA positioning technology to help over 500 clients from 47 countries to successfully launch projects in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, smart city and retailing.”
What is a RTLS (Real-time Location System) provider?
“RTLS is a real-time location system that utilises wireless transmitters (or tags), receivers, and software to track the exact location of an item or a person.
“As a RTLS (Real-time Location System) provider, Blueiot has provided a full set of RTLS hardware and software, including high-capacity AoA anchors, wearable and light-weight AoA tags, AoA engine, and abundant application software for tracking people, vehicles and assets.
“Blueiot real-time location system (RTLS) adopts the Bluetooth Angle of Arrival (AoA) positioning algorithm to receive the unique direction of the incoming wave and position of the Bluetooth locating tag. Blueiot RTLS can achieve a high accuracy of 0.1 metres, which is 10 times higher than traditional indoor positioning technology. Supported by patented technology, Blueiot RTLS system is compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 or above tags and mobile phones.”
How are they used in the healthcare sector, logistics, manufacturing and smart buildings?
“Blueiot specialises in developing Sub-Meter Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) based on Bluetooth 5.1 Angle of Arrival (AoA) technology, which is ideal for businesses such as smart industry, warehousing and logistics, and healthcare facilities to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
“In the healthcare sector, Blueiot locating system can help build a smart hospital by providing smart navigation services. For example, by logging in an app, visitors can easily find a parking space when driving in or their car when driving out, be directed to their target department, and share their real-time position with companions. Besides, safety is also a big concern in this setting. To be specific, when staff and patients carry a tag, like a wearable and portable card, an alarm will be sent once they step out of the safe zone. Elderly or psychiatric patients who get lost can be found quickly by checking their trajectory. Or, patients feeling unwell can call for help by clicking a button.
“In warehousing and logistics use cases, the warehouse is precisely mapped for real-time locating, and it is easy to find a vehicle on the electronic map without visible drift. For instance, we once helped shorten the search time for staff in a forklift warehouse from 15-20 minutes to merely one minute on average with the Blueiot locating system.
“In a manufacturing workplace that involves innumerable people, vehicles and other types of assets, a real time locating system can satisfy the need for creating a safe, orderly and productive working environment and accelerate the integration of industry and information. For example, Blueiot RTLS allows workers to find equipment or tools quickly and accurately, saving both time and labour and preventing delay or rework. And via the big data platform, companies can make better strategies to dispatch and manage their equipment.
“As for the smart building sector. As we all know, museums are often popular with tourists for artistic architecture, but in the future, their core competitiveness will be more than that. Blueiot RTLS enables museums to display their exhibits in an accurate and diverse way. Meanwhile, visitors can listen to the commentary simultaneously as they move from one exhibition stand to another, enjoying fresh audio and visual experience. Operators can also optimise the layout or make wiser commercial decisions by checking the distribution and number of visitors in each floor or exhibition hall and analysing how long a visitor stays for an exhibit.”
How can smart hospitals support elderly care?
“In the process of digital transformation, nursing homes are also suggested to adopt a high-precision locating system for real-time locating and accurate trajectory tracking of the staff and patients, thereby improving management efficiency and preventing elderly patients from being lost. At the same time, employees and patients wearing a tag can realise one-click alarms in case of emergency, which effectively ensures their safety.”
What do the next 12 months hold for you and the company?
“I aspire to work with the R&D team and make continuous efforts to enrich Blueiot product line, such as developing new products, upgrading existing products, and improving customer experience. Also, as the company strives to go global, I would like to see more partners who can join us and co-build the Bluetooth ecosystem, and I believe, mutual benefits can be generated from frequent exchanges and cooperation.”