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Cisco Combines RFID Location Tools With Wi-Fi

LAS VEGAS — Cisco Systems Inc. showed off the first fruits of its recent Airespace Inc. acquisition at the Interop show here, and the company opted for a more clever integration of tools than a simple rebranding.

The Wireless Location Appliance 2700 is a $14,995 1U box that integrates RFID tagging with 802.11 access points, providing ways for central managers to locate and control assets.

Cisco is initially targeting health-care networks to use the locator system to monitor hospital and clinic equipment. Ann Sun, senior manager of wireless and mobility solutions, said she anticipates growing interest from manufacturers along with public-safety applications and similar markets where asset tracking is important.

The system can be used in conjunction with voice-over-IP infrastructure, but works best when VoIP has been extended to a voice-over-Wi-Fi environment.

One location system is used for each central enterprise site where aggregation and network policy enforcement is required. Wi-Fi access points gather received signal strength indicators (RSSI) from 802.11 devices and tags, and Cisco Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) controllers serve to aggregate RSSI information.

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