Bluetooth Low Energy Aware Tracking (Bleat)
The Distributed Senseing Systmes Group at CSIRO’s Data61 has developed Bleat as a capability in low power sensing combined with low power bluetooth indoor localisation.
This capability is applicable to our small wireless sensing devices as well as smart phones. Once we had the indoor localisation capability ported to smart phones, we set about designing a CSIRO Site App, that uses Bleat, for delivering real time indoor location information to assist safety and productivity for staff, contractors and visitors on CSIRO sites.
Obviously location information can raise privacy concerns, and so we do not use GPS for tracking and as such can only determine the position of users on site that opt in to the system by downloading and running the App.
Secondly, the position information is primarily used alert the user about issues or notifications in the user’s area and not tracking the user (i.e. the historical location information is not kept by default).
However, through consultation with potential users, we determined that the option of sharing one’s current position (or whether they are on site or not) is very useful and many would opt to do this in order to increase safety and productivity on site.
The CSIRO Site App has many useful functions using location information, such as allowing users to view the location of other active staff members, send private messages, view and report hazards, view emergency contact information for the site and manage notification and receipt of goods from reception.
There are also modules to assist the receptionists like a delivery service where they can notify users they have a package waiting for them, keep track of all pending packages and keep a history of details of packages that have arrived and been picked up, see the location of all registered users on site (possibly useful during evacuation).
Application in particular to safety
As previously mentioned, there is a mechanism for reporting hazards, where a user can submit a geotagged (location specific) hazard report through the app which includes a time, description and optional photo.
Users will then be notified if they walk within a certain distance of the hazard and be able to view the details of the hazard. The app also allows users to view information and be able to contact the appropriate people in cases of emergency, for example security or first aid.
The video below provides an overview of the Bleat technology.