Case Study

1000+ node Hygiene Monitoring Network

The Situation:
hub and dispenserOur customer sells dispensers of hand cleansing products for use in institutional settings such as hospitals and food preparation establishments. Their customers have established hand sanitization policies but needed a way to verify whether their staff was operating in compliance with those policies. Low incremental cost to the dispenser product and maintenance-free operation over several years were essential for success.

Our Approach:
Venture worked with the client to understand the technical and business needs of the product.  Using RFOS breadboards, we quickly prototyped and field-tested a system to answer some key technical questions that allowed us to finalize a system specification. The solution involved augmenting existing dispenser products with battery (coin cell)  powered transceivers which monitor the dispenser and the staff’s RFID tag which in turn communicate with a mesh radio network to relay dispense events to a central server. The mesh network is self-configuring and self-healing as nodes or entire new branches are added to or removed from the system. The system operates at both 433MHz and 900MHz unlicensed ISM bands.  Back-end communication can use either an available wired or WiFi network connection, or it can operate free of the IT infrastructure by connecting to a cellular wireless data network.

The Result:
With a pilot installation of over one thousand nodes and battery life well in excess of five years, the product has exceeded all of its objectives and has provided our customer with a platform that can be expanded to provide their customers with additional functionality and services over the same hardware infrastructure. Wireless connectivity throughout the system minimizes the cost of installation.