WhereNet showed off its wireless resource management system, which includes the WhereSoft asset management application and hardware devices such as the WhereTag II wireless unit, the WhereLAN access point, and the ruggedized WherePort location sensor.
The WhereTag is a small, plastic-encased device that can be attached to an item such as a shipping container. The WhereTag can be programmed via the system's software to emit a signal to strategically placed WherePort units, which then relay the signal to access points and back to the WhereSoft app. The application identifies unique WhereTag signals and displays their locations graphically on a map or floor plan.
Ford, WhereNet's largest customer to date, uses the system to track new vehicles as they roll off the assembly line. A WhereTag is attached to each new car before it's driven from the factory and stored on the lot. WhereNet's system lets Ford quickly locate and identify any vehicle among the thousands on its lots--previously a completely manual and time-consuming process.
SpectraLink also applies 802.11b technology in a somewhat unorthodox way. The company's VoIP product uses standard Wi-Fi components along with cordless phones of its own design. The software interfaces with most popular PBX systems and can connect directly to already installed VoIP phone systems.
SpectraLink's phones are sophisticated devices, supporting most or all of the PBX system's features. The cordless handsets are also tough enough to stand up to manufacturing environments.
SpectraLink's system can share a standard 802.11b network with more traditional data applications, without an organization having to alter or replace any of the wireless networking infrastructure already in place.