The radar-based technology from Ubisense is due to be launched in February 2004. It will initially be targeted at high-value environments such as hospitals and banks.
Radar-emitting tags that are attached to people or objects can be located to within 150mm by wall- or ceiling-mounted sensors. The sensors triangulate a tag's position and build up a 3D picture on control software of the location of assets and people within a building.
Location information from different sensors can be associated with each other to raise alerts if items are separated. For example, doctors could be alerted if a hospital patient awaiting an operation becomes separated from their notes.
Location data can also be associated with other forms of information via the IT network, so that, for example, patient records are automatically made available to doctors on rounds as they visit bedsides.
Analyst Jeremy Green of Ovum said the development was part of a growing trend towards gaining visibility of objects and people by using tagging technologies.
"The growing ability to track things and people will have a huge impact. It is hard to overestimate the possible uses of such technology. It will pay off in all sorts of ways, especially in big plants and offices where businesses need to keep track of things."