Using Wi-Fi signals is a great way to accurately position connected devices throughout the world in a battery-efficient way. If done correctly, this technology can provide precise location for a wide range of connected devices, including the smallest and most resource-constrained ones. Given the proliferation of Wi-Fi access points (APs) and advances in the technology in recent years, there have also been some key challenges that must be taken into consideration before using Wi-Fi for location.
Mobile Access Points in Phones, Cars, Trains, Planes
Access Points in a Wide Area
MAC Address Collapsing
Locally Administered MAC Addresses
Skyhook APs That:
- Display any of the anomalies described above and are deemed to provide unreliable information
- APs like mobile Wi-Fi hotspots that move frequently
- APs that cover large areas like college campuses, which often hinder the ability to precisely position devices
- Non-unique MAC addresses
- Inaccurate OUIs
- Mobile APs
- Ubiquitous APs
- Big Coverage APs
In today’s world, mobile Wi-Fi APs are the most prolific in the ‘pathological’ categorization. This encompasses APs found across cars, airplanes, buses, trains, and more. It also includes APs such as mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) devices and smartphones being used as Wi-Fi access points.