The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved RuBee®, a long-wavelength, packet-based, magnetic transceiver protocol, as a new international standard designated IEEE 1902.1. RuBee overcomes many of the problems seen with RFID and other wireless asset visibility solutions in harsh environments through its ability to work on steel and in liquids. RuBee tags and antennas are volumetric in harsh environments, not line-of-sight as is typically the case with other wireless technologies (and bar codes). RuBee tags work over a range of 1 to 50 feet depending on antenna configuration, and can be powered by a single coin-size lithium battery with battery life from 5 to 15 years. RuBee tags and systems can easily be combined with sensors, buttons, displays, and LEDs.
IEEE 1902.1 has been used to ensure the visibility and safety of government owned firearms, high valued evidence, military weapons, patient visibility and optimal patient flow in hospitals, hospital disposable and implantable inventories, livestock, disaster recovery equipment and safety systems, mission-critical tools, aircraft maintenance tools, and many other categories of highly valued goods and services. RuBee wireless asset visibility networks seem to be cost-competitive with other wireless networking solutions, including RFID so they could have a good future for these harsh environment applications.