Hans Schantz and Bob DePierre invented near-field electromagnetic ranging (NFER®) technology in 2002. They reduced it to practice in Bob's garage and demonstrated the first proof-of-concept NFER system in Bob's driveway in August 2002. Hans and Bob joined with Jerry Gabig to incorporate Q-Track in October 2002.
Q-Track has been developing and commercializing NFERRTLS since 2002. Q-Track’s founders discovered a way to exploit the “near-field” behavior of radio waves close to a transmitter to achieve remarkably high precision location data. In recognition of the innovative nature of Q-Track’s NFERRTLS, the company has received about $10M in funding including $6M in federal research and development grants.Q-Track's development of NFERtechnology was supported largely out of the principals' pockets, along with a handful of angel investors and contracts from the U.S. Army, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA). The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Q-Track U.S. patent 6,963,301 for NFERtechnology.With additional patent wins, Q-Track now has a total of ten U.S. Patents with another eight pending.
Today Q-Track has 20 full-time employees and works with universities like Stanford, Auburn, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Notre Dame, and University of Alabama Huntsville, as well as J.F. Drake State Technical College to give students hands on experience doing real engineering work as interns or co-op students. Additionally, Q-Track aims to hire these students after they graduate and strongly encourages further education. Q-Track has also hired a number of retired military personnel who are key contributors to the Q-Track team.
The Q-Track Corporation is located in Huntsville, Alabama. In July 2008, Inc Magazine selected Huntsville, Alabama, as one of the Top Five Mid-Sized Cities for Doing Business. In July 2009, Kiplinger chose Huntsville, Alabama, as Number 1 in their Ten Best Cities of 2009. CNN/Money selected Huntsville as Number 1 among their top midsize places to launch a small business in October 2009. Their coverage featured Q-Track as an example of a prominent Huntsville start-up.Q-Track’s NFER® products are the basis of a simulated dosimetry system piloted at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle nuclear facility. RFID Journal recognized the breakthrough nature of the NFER® RTLS offering with a “Best-In-Show, Finalist,” designation for the third annual RFID Journal Awards. The Nuclear Energy Institute awarded Southern Company the 2010 Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award for Training for their use of Q-Track’s NFER RTLS-based “Dosimulation™ ” system. Q-Track has deployed Dosimulation™ systems at more than a half-dozen different nuclear facilities.