Indoor Localization: Key Aspects of Various Indoor Localization Technologies

Indoor localization is the process of locating people or objects in a large indoor environment such as an office space, a healthcare facility, a museum, an educational center, or a mass transport facility. Based on wireless technologies such as WiFi, Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), Ultra-wide Band (UWB), etc., indoor localization techniques aid in optimal facility management and support smart architecture such as smart buildings and smart cities.

This post discusses key aspects of each indoor localization technique and presents technological aspects which support in successfully implementing an indoor localization system.

Indoor Localization

Also read our blog How Does An Indoor Navigation System Technology Work in Locating Assets?

Making Indoor Localization Possible: Wireless Technologies

Indoor Localization Technologies

WiFi

Used primarily for connecting different devices to the internet and provide networking capabilities to the user, WiFi is one of the most popular wireless technologies in the 21st century. As most devices such as Smartphones, tablets and personal computers are enabled for WiFi, it makes this wireless technology cost-effective as well as ubiquitous.

Bluetooth

Usage of Bluetooth for connecting devices and sharing data has been a common practice at indoor environments as it allows for hassle-free exchange of information within limited spaces. However, with the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the data rate has improved in addition to the coverage range which is now around 70-90 meters.

Zigbee

Being the latest in entrant in wireless technologies which power indoor localization, Zigbee is widely used in home automation and to crate personal area networks. Zigbee’s range is around 10 – 20 meters, hence it is not effective in large indoor environments.

Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID)

This technology uses electromagnetic radio waves for transferring or storing data in large indoor environments. RFID systems can operate at wide distances and are therefore quite effective indoor localization system.

Ultra-wide Band (UWB)

Despite its use as a short-range communication system, UWB has gained significant usage as an indoor application since other signals cannot interfere with its transmission. UWB signals can penetrate a wide variety of materials including walls.

Visible Light

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) acts as Beacons to transmit signal and data which is then picked up by receivers for indoor localization. An emerging technology, Visible Light Communication (VLC) uses certain ranges of visible light for high-speed data transfer.

Indoor Localization: Key Aspects of Technologies

Indoor localization wifi

Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)

This is one of the simplest and hence widely used approach for indoor localization.
While RSSI is easy to install & implement, cost-effective, and can be used in combination with multiple other technologies, it is prone to lower localization accuracy and environmental noise.
RSSI requires fingerprinting for indoor localization accuracy.

Channel State Information (CSI)

CSI provides better multipath information, more stable measurements, and higher localization accuracy when compared to RSSI.
However, despite its robust compatibility and good quality output, CSI is yet to gain popularity. It’s availability also is a major concern.

Fingerprinting/Scene Analysis

This technology requires an environmental survey to obtain fingerprints or features of the environment where localization has to be installed.
While Fingerprinting/Scene Analysis is fairly easy to use it is quite intricate as new fingerprints will be required each time there is a minor variation in the indoor space.

Angle of Arrival (AoA)

This approach uses antennae arrays to estimate the angle at which the signal intrudes on the receiver, by exploiting and calculating the time difference of arrival.
The prime advantage of AoA is that user location can be estimated in both 2D and 3D environments with the right infrastructure.
AoA provides high location accuracy but requires complex hardware and components, apart from the risk of decreasing performance with increase in distance between transmitter and receiver.

Return Time of Flight (RToF)

This technology measures the transmitter-receiver-transmitter signal propagation time for indoor localization.
While RToF provides high accuracy and does not require any fingerprinting, it requires clock synchronization, and there could be processing delay for shorter range measurements.

sources:

1. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1709.01015.pdf
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S240589631632691X
3. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-0-387-35973-1_622

Also read our blog How An Indoor Navigation App Helps Your Business In Revenue Generation?

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Is An Indoor Location Tracking System Similar To Indoor GPS?
[Indoor Tracking & Real-time Location Services]

This post was last updated on Apr 2, 2019 

Most large facilities such as warehouses, convention centers, medical facilities, zoo parks, and museums among others seek one holistic technological platform for helping them with indoor wayfinding, indoor location tracking of assets and visitors and emergency management.

While GPS helps users navigate effortlessly outdoors and reach their desired location, an indoor location tracking system can work precisely like an indoor GPS by producing real-time data for aiding users not just with facility navigation but also with notifications and updates about the venue, directly on their Smartphones.

indoor location tracking system

Also read our blog What Are Indoor Maps? How Can They Benefit Large Facilities?

Let’s Look At Challenges Faced @ Convention Centers

From large-scale trade expos & exchanges and product launches to niche get-togethers, convention centers are places which host a wide variety of events.

Usually, events of these proportions are scheduled for days at a stretch and the number of participants could run into thousands. How can such a complex ambiance be navigated effortlessly by the visitors?

Location tracking is the toughest challenge that facility heads and organizers constantly face at convention centers during an event, as visitors have to rely completely on volunteers or sign boards to access various spaces of interest during the convention. With the help of location tracking systems, visitors can navigate effortlessly by suing point-to-point wayfinding on their Smartphone screens. This enables them to visit each stall, store and enterprise which is showcased at the expo.

indoor Navigation for Convention Centers

Going forward, facilities such as airports, warehouses, museums, and aquariums among others would surely look at adopting this technology for better facility management.

How Can Owners of Large Facilities Benefit With This?

Each visitor is a potential customer for large facility managers as the venue once inhabited by visitors needs to guarantee an amazing guest experience, as happy visitors means higher chances of them coming back to your venue for further business opportunities.

The package of features provided within the venue by management adds a lot of value to guest experience, and this maximizes possibilities of future collaborations based on the service they provide now.

Large Facilities Navigation

Advanced Technological Platform For Advancing Business Revenues

Virtual Introduction
In a venue such as a convention center, understanding the key element lies in how each and every visitor is making use of all the features during their stay at the venue. An indoor location tracking app serves as the perfect platform for introducing the venue to users while keeping them aware of the various facilities schematized for their use.

indoor location tracking technology

Look at this futuristic idea of Virtual Introduction

An indoor location tracking app solves the problem of visitor concentration – most visitors tend to visit only a few kiosks and exhibits while others wear a deserted look. This could be due to the floor plan having a complex pattern or could be a simple reason such as users not being aware of the existence of particular exhibits at all.

For the exhibitors, this app can help in introducing the visitors to them before they come to the stall. The digital footprint generated by users of the app can be visible to exhibitors and stall owners, thereby aiding them significantly in pitching their product or service.

Virtual introduction is a feature that can empower the stall owners by having detailed information about each and every visitor crossing them. This feature also helps the users to know and bookmark their location during the event by getting to know a brief of each and every exhibitor.

Who provides indoor location tracking technology?

Technology in this digital world can create wonders provided we as users know how to make use of it. Applications are an integral part of marketing in this modern era yet there are very few apps that offer a variety of features along with one pivotal feature.

Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN) Apps

IPIN apps are a necessity in large facilities such as convention centers as they don’t just focus on indoor navigation alone but also offer much more than that.

Indoor GPS

Look at the features provided by holistic IPIN apps:

Facility Utilization
Market Integration
Visitor Virtual Introduction
Location Bookmarking
Emergency Management

Facilities that intend to serve their visitors with both quantity and quality should always look for a robust platform that offers several benefits in one, holistic application.

In effect, an indoor location tracking system is much more efficient than a system which offers just a platform functioning as an ‘indoor’ GPS.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.