HID Global, the Texas-based provider of identity solutions, has launched its location-based workplace optimisation products in Australia. HID Location Services use Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) beacons and devices, combined with a cloud-based platform, to provide organisations with real-time visibility of its employees and assets.

HID Global says the system can scale to millions of connected units, can manage and monitor networks of tens of thousands of assets. It’s ideal for enterprises, universities, manufacturing facilities or any organisation seeking to optimise its workforce and streamline facility management, the company says.

The service is based on technology developed by startup Bluvision, a company founded in 2014 and acquired by HID Global in December 2016. According to HID Global, it was the first company to offer a cloud-based service that allows remote, worldwide deployment and management of BLE beacons.

The Bluvision technology is also used by Google-owned Waze, the developer of a mobile app that relies on crowdsourcing for traffic and navigation information to enable it to operate in GPS blackspots such as tunnels.

The on-premises part of the Bluvision system comprises BluFi gateways, small units that plug into any powerpoint that communicate with mobile assets over BLE and with each other via WiFi mesh. They have a range of 30-50 metres.

For tracking people the service offers a credit-card sized BLE device that can be incorporated into an ID card or electronic access card. It incorporates a non-replaceable battery but is good for about three years, according to HID Global.

For equipment, a glue-on cylindrical unit about 1cm diameter and 5cm long with a non-replaceable battery with a 10 year life is offered.

The location of any unit can be tracked on a web interface and the system also provides APIs to enable location information to be fed into other systems, used in reports and so on. The system also has a mobile app that can direct the user to a specific location such as a meeting room.

HID Global says accurate, current data on the location of employees and assets can drive better business decisions.

“Facility managers can take a proactive approach to utilisation and react quickly to the needs of employees,” the company says.

“Security managers can take necessary precautions to safeguard personnel and ensure that the property is not at risk. … Wayfinding is particularly important in complex buildings like those found on college campuses, in government establishments and office blocks.

“Future use cases of HID Location Services can extend beyond workforce and building optimisation to include building automation capabilities, rich security features, and capabilities that facilitate life safety management and compliance.”