Asset Tracking Proximity Sensor

Request Number REQ5336231
Due Date April 21, 2017
Author Kevin Andrews
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Asset Tracking Proximity Sensor
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a multinational company, invites proposals for a hand-held proximity sensor that permits a user to accurately and quickly identify and locate a tagged and potentially mobile asset.


NineSigma’s client markets mobile asset tracking systems that utilize active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.  Assets are mobile, at velocities < 2 mph, within confined areas less than 100 yd x 100 yd.  It is important to be able to find one particular asset amongst many (100-200) within this confined area.


The current tracking system is not practical for locating a single asset in the confined area.  Users need a tool capable of locating a specific asset within the confined area.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan
Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Demonstrate efficacy of proposed solution, preferably with existing asset tags (functionality)
  • Provide cost estimate and path to commercial scale

Phase 2 – Production model development

  • Develop production smart phone application
  • Update the prototype design to a production design to support:
    • Environment
    • Wireless regulations
    • Rugged heavy usage
    • MIL-STD-810E rating
  • Design for manufacture
  • Packaging

Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Identify the location of one unique tagged asset, within a group of 100-200 other tagged assets, helping the user to get to within 5-10 ft of the asset, under the following constraints:
    • Distance between proximity sensor and tagged asset may range from 2-200 ft but may occasionally be as far as 1 mile away
    • Assets may be mobile but are generally confined within a 100 yd2 area
    • It is permissible that the user be more than 5-10 ft away from the asset, if the tool can provide reasonable assurance that the target asset is the asset that has been identified
  • Preferably, be compatible with tags with the following characteristics:
    • Active RFID tag broadcasting at 915 MHz with configurable data rates, Manchester encoding, and multiple frequency full duplex operation
    • Sponsor will consider alternative tags or modification to existing tag design
  • Ideally interface with a smart phone
  • Be easy to use
    • Require limited use of hands for operation
    • Offer visual and audible queues about asset location (but not make loud or unpleasant sounds)
  • Require minimal power from the tag while finding the asset
  • Offer 8-12 hours of continuous operation
  • Offer recharge time < 8 hours
  • Be cost effective at commercial scale
  • Be compatible with finished product that is MIL-STD-810 E rated


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Reader or proximity sensor that works with sponsor’s existing tag
  • Reader or proximity sensor that works with a new tag
  • Triangulation, time in flight, and angle of arrival detection
  • GPS and assisted GPS


Approaches not of interest

  • Omni-directional “hot-cold” proximity
  • Any solution that reduces battery life of the asset tag
  • Any solution that is not easily carried or that interferes with the locating process


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including signal range, device size, specifications of recommended process, and details on components and technology implemented
  • Details of any potential changes to current asset tags
  • Technical maturity of the approach (reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience



Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.



Area of Interest
  • Consumer Products
Request Priority
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