Infrared radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of microwaves. The name means “below red,” red being the color of visible light with the longest wavelength.

Alone, infrared (IR) technology cannot power an RTLS system, but when used in combination with an RFID or Wi-Fi infrastructure, IR can be incredibly valuable. Because IR light is bound by walls, we can use it to achieve “positive room identification” — that is, we can positively determine in which room (versus zone) — or even in which patient bay — a tagged object or person is located. This is an important feature for the purpose of analyzing and optimizing medical-equipment flow and patient/clinician interactions.

IR technology can increase the value of an RTLS system substantially. Learn more about the power of hybrid solutions that incorporate IR…


In the most common systems, an infrared emitter located in each room transmits a signal that defines the identity of that particular emitter — and the identity of the room where it is located.

The tags used in such a hybrid system are attached to moving objects or people and contain an infrared sensor that receives the information from the IR emitter mounted in each room. The hybrid IR/RFID or IR/Wi-Fi tags then incorporate the location information they receive from the IR emitter into the RF or Wi-Fi signal that they transmit back to the network.


VIZZIA offers several hybrid IR systems, including a combination RF/Gen2IR system from CenTrak that delivers spot-on accuracy at a cost competitive with most single-technology systems.