Indoor positioning: Crowd-sourcing and the ‘Second wave’

Companies are crowd-sourcing their RF databases to aid GPS and improve indoor location accuracy as well as create a stronger alignment with satellites.

05/09/2012


As we all know, GPS is perfectly fine when locating a device outdoors, but falls short when attempting to do the same indoors or in built-up urban areas, so-called urban canyons. This has meant that other technologies have also been required for locating devices indoors with Wi-Fi the most commonly utilized technology to-date – through techniques such as pattern matching (fingerprinting) or trilateration using signal strengths.

The issue with fingerprinting, with any wireless technology, is scalability. Time consuming manual surveys are required of venues; this is before considering the changeable indoor environment may need repeated re-surveying to maintain its positioning accuracy. Using signal strengths for trilateration encounters difficulties with accuracy itself, where it is just not precise enough, typically around 30 meters, to create a compelling use-case. So what’s the solution?

It’s been well publicized that Apple and Google have been ‘crowd-sourcing’ their RF databases, to aid GPS and reduce time-to-first-fix for some time. However, Google recently announced that venue owners can manually survey their venues to help provide better indoor location to Google Maps users, something that Qubulus also offers. This removes the time-consuming ‘manual’ element, improving the scalability of the solutions offered.

IC manufacturers are also getting in on the act. With CSR announcing its SiRFusion platform in November 2011, which not only cleverly amalgamates data from a number of different wireless technologies and MEMS sensors, but also crowd-sources location data which is pulled from a cloud-based system to help improve positional accuracy. Broadcom and TI have also announced indoor positioning products recently, making use of a range of wireless technologies and MEMS sensors. The increased focus on services to complement the hardware, akin in some ways to the provision of satellite location (ephemeris) data for use with GPS, is vital to improving the scalability of indoor positioning solutions, as is Google’s announcement that it would be crowd sourcing the RF environment in venues through its ‘Floor Plan Marker’ application.

This first wave of solutions utilizing multiple wireless technologies and MEMS sensors with crowd-sourced location data will provide increased indoor location accuracy and scalability, enabling compelling use-cases. As this market becomes established, and as even higher accuracy technologies become commercially available, it is expected that there will be demand for a ‘second wave’ of improved solutions; these services to improve the scalability and accuracy of current solutions are therefore vital in order to achieve this. Second wave technologies such as Nokia’s Bluetooth HAIP, and continuing enhancements to existing solutions, offer improved accuracies to enable increasingly interesting use-cases – such as product-level search and navigation, high precision proximity-based marketing, or augmented reality – for venue owners, marketers, and consumers.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.