I am trying to design an employee tracking system, to track employees from room to room, for saftey purposes.
Somewhat obviously, if requires each tracked person to carry a device which uniquely identifies them.
Which will obviously have to be battery powered, with enough battery life to last a full working shift, let's say 12 hours?
It is becoming apparent that I am looking at Bluetooth Low Energy – unless someone can make a compelling argument for WiFi, ZigBee., etc.
Please, bear in mind that the device and battery must be worn in an industrial environment, so should be robust, and also easy to charge when needed – at worst overnight, ready for the next shift.
The device need only identify itself, as it passes various access points (presumably by pairing with them, or offering to do so?)
In any case, what I do not want – close as it is - is a cheap sports/fitness band. What I would like is something very like that :
- Rubber wrist band – nice to have, but not mandatory
- Rugged & robust – is quite important
- Button/cell battery – for small form fit
- NO built in apps, e.g. health / fitness
- It would be nice if I were able to load my own software. For instance, to vibrate the band remotely, or display messages. What I don’t want is lots of built-in fitness tracker stuff, which is not associated with my system
The Flora Wearable Bluefruit LE Module looks good, but
- it’s not totally off the shelf : “Sew 4 traces (or solder 4 wires)”
- There is no indication of battery life (although I don’t expect any problems with BTLE)
- I would prefer something worn on the wrist, but could live with this
On the plus side it seems easy to program “After you connect to the Bluefruit, you can send commands wirelessly in under 10 minutes”. Also, “Built in over-the-air bootloading capability so we can keep you updated with the hottest new firmware. Use any Android or iOS device to get updates and install them” seems a big plus.
Is there any other cheap (preferably sub $50) wrist wearable which is programmable, preferably with a snap-in coin/cell battery?
[Update] I now have a strong preference for BT 5, rather than v4, but can't seem to find any. The reason being that the BT 5 spec has provisions for proximity, which could save me a lot of effort on triangulation.