Design Con 2015

Bluetooth aids livestock tracking

June 24, 2004

colin.holland-June 24, 2004

LIVERPOOL, England — Bluetooth and serial technologies specialist, Brainboxes, is cooperating with AgInfoLink, to bring Bluetooth wireless technology to livestock tracking applications. The animals are tagged with an RFID ID tag soon after birth and from then on are tracked across a farm-to-market data network supplied by AgInfoLink.

Communication using Brainboxes' serial Bluetooth converter modules provides the link between the reader and a PC or PDA which processes the information. The key application for this technology is for tracking the attributes associated with livestock and other agricultural products - from vaccinations, treatments and weights to movement and location history.

A rugged handheld reader is used to read an RFID tag, the Bluetooth communication then sends the data wirelessly back to the host. Following the identification, the PDA will inform the farmer of the ID and status of the animal or other item and advise the farmer of any action required.

Lee Curkendall, Vice President Business Development, AgInfoLink, said "In Bluetooth-enabling our readers, it was important that the hardware and software were very easy to implement and configure. Brainboxes provided us with an ideal customised Bluetooth solution to a rather unusual problem."

The wands are called Tag Trackers and the one device incorporates RF-ID technology as well as Bluetooth technology from Brainboxes. To reduce the reliance on the simple host equipment, Brainboxes supplied its serial (RS232) Bluetooth converter modules. These modules allow dumb devices to be enabled for wireless communication without the need for configuration or additional software. The module is a Class 1 Bluetooth device, which means it can operate wirelessly at a range of up to 100 metres (in an open field).

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