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Posted: 10 April 2006

UCD Deploys Largest Real-Time Locator System in Ireland

As you approach your office in the morning, how would you like your environment to prepare itself for you – collect email, turn on heat and light, switch off the answer phone and open the doors?

Sound good? It’s called pervasive computing, and a research team in UCD working on pervasive computing and the efficiencies of wireless applications has taken an exciting leap with the deployment of the largest real-time location system (RTLS) in Ireland, opening up lines of research that would otherwise be difficult, perhaps impossible, to pursue.

“It provides a unique environment for testing a whole host of new applications of our technology”, said Professor Paddy Nixon, Head of the Systems Research Group (SRG) in the Department of Computer Science and Informatics at UCD.

The sensor deployment covers about one third of the Computer Science and Informatics building, making real-time tracking of tags attached to people and objects a campus reality. “This will allow us to build systems that respond to small changes in a user’s movement or location, for example, using gestural interactions to pass data between mobile devices and fixed infrastructure. As early adopters we have the opportunity to push the boundaries of what has been achieved to date”, said Dr Steve Neely, postdoctoral researcher in the Systems Research Group.

The sense-driven computing platform provided by Ubisense uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to locate people and objects in real-time to an accuracy of 6 inches (15cm) in 3D. “We are relying on the Ubisense system to track staff and students so we can build a log of all the data, and identify patterns of movement and associations with their context”, said Paddy Nixon. “This data will help us realise existing issues and limitations associated with current and future wireless applications”.

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