Precise Positioning for Industry

At a glance

© Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs
Test and Application Center L.I.N.K.

In a time of increasing competition, cost pressure and customer demands, the use of innovative tracking technologies is gaining more and more importance. However, introducing a tracking system tends to involve very high capital expenditure and a complicated installation process.

Wireless Smart Items (WiSmIts) are intelligent wireless sensor nodes (also known as "tags" or "transceivers") that are attached to objects to be tracked. These small, robust transceiver platforms are detected and located by a receiving antenna. The sensor data collected is then wirelessly communicated.

Technical description

WiSmIts are modular and contain a multitude of sensors. The transmitters are by default equipped with sensors measuring light, temperature, acceleration, atmospheric pressure and geomagnetic field strength as well as with a three-axis gyroscope. Apart from radio-based tracking, relative changes in the position and orientation of a wireless sensor node can also be determined using inertial navigation techniques. This means that a WiSmIt includes all the sensors needed for real-time object tracking and distance estimation. A combined barometer/thermometer collects data on atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature, which makes it possible to estimate relative changes in altitude. The sensors used to determine orientation and direction are based on state-of-the-art MEMS technology. Their power supply and form factor are designed for mobile applications. Thanks to their robustness and low weight, WiSmIts are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. WiSmIts use the 2.4 GHz ISM band and have an indoor operating range of approximately 30 meters.

An integrated RFID module means WiSmIts are capable of non-contact object identification. This makes it possible to identify objects in the immediate vicinity of the wireless sensor node independently of position data collected.


Continuous tracking of objects and people makes for completely transparent processes, enabling potential applications in a wide variety of industries. In areas such as logistics, security, manufacturing, health and sports, a large variety of applications can be implemented.

Radio-based tracking systems are widely considered key components of modern logistics systems. They form the basis for automated time-, location- and context-aware process monitoring. Demand is constantly growing for reliable, high-resolution, real-time tracking and identification technologies for indoor and outdoor use.

The WiSmIt transceiver platform is highly versatile; thanks to its modular design, it can be adapted to diverse requirements. WiSmIts are used for tracking in numerous Fraunhofer projects and products.


Fraunhofer IIS has all the knowledge necessary to provide complete, tailored system solutions for tracking and navigation. A license agreement geared towards your specific business model will allow you to integrate the product with existing systems.

With precise Positioning for Industry you will be able to explore and trial a wide variety of tracking applications in your environment. The platform can be adapted to your requirements, and components (e.g. for inertial measurement) can also be used individually.