What Makes an Indoor Location System Great?

We recently did a short survey among our customers to see where the indoor location system market is heading. More specifically, we wanted to find out what are the main requirements that companies are looking for. Here are the most interesting insights from our customer survey.

We got 34 different specialists from business managers to software engineers to tell us their particular needs for an indoor location system. More than 75% of those were RTLS service providers, tracking everything from people in exhibitions to assets in manufacturing. The rest were using the system in their own business application, with the aim of improving a process or a service.


Top 5 Requirements for an RTLS


We asked our customers what were the five most important aspects of an indoor location system. The replies showed something fairly intuitive – people expect high-quality at a reasonable price. The cost of hardware and accuracy of less than 30 cm were the top two aspects that more than 50% of all the respondents mentioned.


However, in many cases, 30 cm did not seem to be enough. More than 30% of all respondents expected that the RTLS provides less than 5 cm accuracy. Obviously the more the better. However, more accuracy always comes with a higher cost. Unfortunately, this survey did not reveal if customers would be willing to pay more for better precision or would they compromise on the accuracy.


The top aspects of an RTLS mentioned by our survey respondents:

1.    Cost of Hardware

2.    Positioning accuracy

3.    Compact Tag Size

4.    Easy to set up and maintain


Other requirements that were fairly often mentioned were the ability to penetrate obstacles and battery life.


RTLS Market is Still Developing


We were also interested in learning what is the overall RTLS market maturity by asking how far are our clients in their purchasing process. It seems that the indoor location market is still very much in the shaping. Many are still exploring options and making initial demos for clients. Companies are not yet dealing with business level aspects such as calculating the ROI. Still, most of our respondents said that they will develop a business plan before investing in indoor location technology.


Finding the Best Indoor Location System


There are many technologies on the market and even more companies offering different RTLS solutions. As we’ve written before in another blog post, the most important requirements depend on the use case. The demands on the indoor location system are very different whether you’re tracking forklifts in a warehouse or cows in a milking parlor.


One of the key things with an RLTS is how to get the data to the server. This is where the measurements are turned into precise coordinates. Our survey results showed that depending on the use case, either Wi-Fi or Ethernet was the preferred option. It makes complete sense. Ethernet is fast and reliable, perfect for business-critical applications such as manufacturing or asset tracking. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is wireless and fairly easy to set up. Therefore, it is a convenient option in many environments where cabling is either restricted or too costly.


Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by how many customers found the time to take our survey and we genuinely appreciated it. The RTLS market is growing and soon we’ll see how companies will be able to respond to the diverse customer requirements. We at Eliko have already taken notice and working on our next release.