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Co-Author: Richard Jang
Technical Marketing Engineer in IBNG at Cisco Systems

Cisco and Wipelot present the first real-time location system (RTLS) with an app hosting solution using Ultra Wide-Band (UWB) .

The new normal makes sensitive location detection more critical than ever before, so that your business can operate more effectively and use resources more efficiently, thus reducing costs and improving the bottom line. Imagine how powerful it would be to have a centralized dashboard showing —with 1-meter accuracy — a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) of inventory and equipment in your warehouse or manufacturing floor. The ability to evaluate how equipment is used, avoid loss or theft, and cut down on time hunting for missing items would completely change the game for any business.

While you imagine this, let me introduce to you Cisco and Wipelot’s new RTLS enterprise wireless IoT solution powered by Cisco Application Hosting and Eagle Eye. This integration is Cisco’s first Ultra-Wide-Band (UWB) solution and leverages a UWB dongle for a precise RTLS with the Cisco Catalyst 9100 series access point (AP) product line. As a background, UWB technology is radio frequency (RF) that is incredibly accurate when used for location services and can allow for approximately sub 1-meter location detection accuracy.

Leveraging UWB Technology

Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series AP with a Wipelot UWB dongle

To leverage this UWB technology, this solution requires the following:

  1. Cisco DNA Center – Used to manage the deployment and serviceability of Wipelot’s RTLS IOx Application.
  2. Wiplot’s RTLS IOx Application – Deployed to the Catalyst 9100 Series AP through Cisco DNA Center to allow the AP to control the UWB dongle and communicate to the Wipelot Mobile Tag and send data to the Wipelot web dashboard.
  3. Wipelot’s UWB Dongle – Inserted into the Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series AP and emits UWB RF.
  4. Wipelot’s Mobile Tag – Attached to equipment or people and sends UWB location data to the Wipelot UWB dongle.
  5. Wipelot’s Web Dashboard – Web UI used to visualize the location of Wipelot’s mobile tags.

When Wiplot’s RTLS IOx application has been deployed to the AP, the following topology can be referenced for how location data is sent from the mobile tags to the UWB dongle, then through the IOx application to the Wipelot web dashboard. Data structure is private and it is binary data with timing information of tags and anchors.

Data flow topology of the Eagle Eye Solution
The Wipelot web dashboard is an intuitive software that requires only minimal setup, such as uploading a floor map, entering the floor dimensions, placing the APs onto the map (highlighted in red below), as well as entering the IDs of the Wipelot mobile tags. Upon properly configuring your Wipelot web dashboard, you’ll immediately observe icons on the map (highlighted in orange below), which represent the location of your mobile tags. When your mobile tags are not moving, you’ll be able to observe an incredible 20cm location accuracy.
Non-moving mobile tags: 20 cm accuracy

The web dashboard even allows for a location playback of any mobile tag, giving you the history of exactly where the tags were for any time in the past. Even while moving, this solution still guarantees an incredible 45cm location accuracy!

Moving mobile tags: 45 cm accuracy

Since this solution is powered by Cisco Application Hosting on the Catalyst 9100 series access points, it reduces the overall cost of ownership by eliminating the need for an additional IoT overlay network specific to this solution. Powered by Cisco DNA Center, a user can have peace of mind thanks to its advanced application management capabilities, ranging from the runtime status of individual applications, detailed error logs and much more.

The Eagle Eye application hosting solution changes the RTLS IoT game by becoming Cisco’s very first integrated UWB solution in the market!

Learn more about the Eagle Eye solution

Learn more about Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series APs