Link Labs awarded six patents for software innovations

23rd April 2021
Alex Lynn

Link Labs has announced the awarding of six US patents for technological innovations in its AirFinder OnSite IoT asset tracking platform.

“Our AirFinder OnSite innovations at the firmware level of IoT devices resolve an array of technical challenges that are critical to making enterprise-grade IoT asset tracking more precise, more power-efficient and more affordable,” said Bob Proctor, CEO of Link Labs. “The challenges addressed by our software engineering – including ranging methodology, interference avoidance, location algorithm, power efficiency and scalability to high tag densities – power AirFinder OnSite’s first-ever fine-tuning of asset location to the sub-meter level.

“Our six innovations also unlock the keys to dramatic improvements in battery life at the tag level, unprecedented speed in determining tag location and unmatched reductions in infrastructure cost and total cost of ownership. All of our innovations are supported by industry-standard Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chipsets, which allows these new advanced capabilities to be incorporated into any manufacturer’s BLE tags with a simple firmware upgrade.”

Launched in March 2021, AirFinder OnSite is an enterprise IoT platform for managing hundreds to millions of things and features customised reporting and advanced analytics while integrating seamlessly into business workflows.

It is ideal for IoT asset tracking in facilities with large footprints such as distribution centers, warehouses, manufacturing sites and hospitals, among others. AirFinder OnSite is initially being offered to early technology adopters through Link Labs’ AirFinder Early Access Program. General availability is expected in Summer 2021.

AirFinder OnSite’s patents include:

  • US Patent No. 10,985,787: System and Method for Generating Phase-Coherent Signaling When Ranging Between Wireless Communication Nodes: A wireless communication technique that greatly reduces the time required to determine a tag’s location, to under 10 milliseconds. It also more than doubles the power efficiency of a phase-ranging asset tracking system by substantially reducing the amount of data that needs to be exchanged between a tag and a location beacon.
  • US Patent No. 10,708,970: BLE Networking Systems and Methods Providing Central and Peripheral Role Reversal with Enhanced Peripheral Location Determination Using Constant Tone Extension Analysis for a Same Channel: A communication system that pinpoints a tag’s location by performing calculations on the tag using phase ranging to three or more location beacons (i.e., multilateration). This technique significantly improves the efficiency of the tag’s data backhaul, the part of a network that comprises the intermediate links between the core network and the small subnetworks at the edge of a network, and its power consumption.  
  • US Patent No. 10,845,451: Apparatus and Method for Mitigating Interference When Phase Ranging Among Beacons and Tags: A technique that mitigates interference from unrelated devices on individual communication channels used by tags and beacons within an enterprise asset tracking network. When there are many Bluetooth, WiFi and short-range radio devices in local proximity competing for the same wireless channel bandwidth within an enterprise network – such as in offices, hospitals or industrial environments – this technique efficiently maintains both location accuracy and power efficiency.
  • US Patent No. 10,862,520: Apparatus and Method for Mitigating Effects of Multipath Interference Between Wireless Communication Nodes via Constraint of Estimated Node Location: A method for increasing accuracy in location measurement that uses a wireless communication node to reduce and resolve multipath interference. Because most indoor asset tracking environments have moderate to high levels of interference, this technique mitigates the impact of multipath and non-line of sight signal paths between a tagged asset and the location of a reference beacon. Even when the direct path of a signal is blocked by walls or the signal bounces off metal objects or large pieces of industrial equipment, this technique maintains location accuracy.
  • US Patent No. 10,887,860: Apparatus and Method for Optimising Wireless End Node Location Determination Via Targeted Proximity Ranging to Clusters of Other Wireless Nodes: A communication technique for adding more beacons to an asset tracking system without degrading accuracy by detecting and clustering four or more groups of beacons based on their location. For IoT applications with a large number of tags in one location, such as a warehouse, this technique is a low-cost way for expanding a system’s capacity and managing data from a large number of tagged assets.
  • US Patent No. 10,873,949: Battery Watchdog System and Methodology: A battery system that incorporates a watchdog and power throttling capability to monitor a device’s battery consumption and control various functions and timing of events, which conserves power and ensures a device meets its required minimum life of operation.


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