Indoor positioning refers to the ability to locate connected devices in indoor locations where GPS and other satellites cannot detect them, in places such as multi-store buildings, parking garages, or airports. Have you ever gone inside a grocery store or a mall, and suddenly your phone couldn’t figure out where you were? When traveling outside with a clear view of the sky and satellites, GPS is reliable, but once the device enters a building- the walls, roofs and other infrastructure interfere with the GPS signal.
Now, when you’re walking around that grocery store or mall, your exact indoor positioning might not matter to you. But what if you are a logistics manager for a produce company looking to better understand the path of your vegetable shipment? Or the manager of a large warehouse looking to locate where a specific pallet was left behind? In these situations, Wi-Fi indoor positioning is an incredible asset for improving location quality, production, and overall insights.
The benefits of hybrid Wi-Fi indoor positioning:
- It takes advantage of existing infrastructure
- It doesn't require additional infrastructure maintenance
- It is cost effective and can be scaled easily
- It is low power
- It works indoors and outdoors — globally
- It can be adjusted by adding additional Wi-Fi beacons, or more precise surveying and calibration to achieve the level of accuracy you need
- It is continuously benefiting from changing and developing technology like Wifi RTT, which allows devices to measure the distance to Wi-Fi routers and determine their indoor location with a precision of 1-2 meters.
- It can be combined with other positioning technologies for flexible deployment, accuracy and power profiles
Indoor Positioning Use Cases
Gaining a clear understanding of where, and how, an object travels, lives, or comes to rest can provide great rewards for a wide range of industries. Here are some examples of how indoor positioning improves real life situations.
Indoor Positioning in Warehouses
Warehouses for companies that manufacture products can be miles long with thousands of high-valued tools used by personnel inside. It is difficult to locate devices and personnel in a warehouse of that size. By adding location capabilities, warehouse managers can quickly and easily locate where equipment or products are, thereby improving operations.
Indoor Positioning in Construction
Construction sites have many expensive assets, and contractors and employees are often moving between various work sites. These companies greatly benefit from the ability to see where employees and tools are located at any given time. With location technology, a contractor can be 300 miles away and still find out which job site a specific smart tool is located, and up to 3 meters from its exact location at the site.
Indoor Positioning in MPERS
Location accuracy in Mobile Personal Emergency Response Devices can truly dictate whether a situation can result in a life saved or an accident avoided. Without a solid hybrid positioning system implemented by manufacturers, it is difficult for devices to be found in an emergency, both in dense urban environments and inside locations like caregiving facilities. Hybrid positioning solves this problem by using multiple location sources like GPS, Wi-Fi access point, and cell tower signals to locate a device based on the strength of each of those signals, and movement of the device.
Indoor Positioning in Asset Tracking
Companies are now expected to provide insights to customers using real-time asset intelligence. In order for real-time asset tracking to become a reality, companies need accurate location to help their clients avoid the cost of lost packages, increase route efficiency, and ensure top notch service. Integrating location technology that doesn’t lose the connection when traveling under bridges or through tunnels can solve this problem. Devices leveraging the Skyhook Wi-Fi solution can use passive Wi-Fi scans to store a location token that is resolved when the device regains network connectivity, providing accurate tracking results. It can also provide comprehensive route analysis based on proprietary geospatial datasets.
Indoor Positioning in Hospitals
A hospital is a busy place - people are running around, moving beds, machines, wheelchairs, etc. from patient rooms to different floors. Hospitals have important devices that are often shared between departments. Locating these devices for quick use can be a frustrating and inefficient process. These resources also need to be regularly serviced and maintained to meet federal standards. By enabling indoor location tracking on important hospital devices, hospitals improve peace of mind, organization, efficiency, and overall patient care.
The ways in which indoor positioning can benefit various industries are numerous. Add location tracking from Skyhook and gain strong and actionable insights related to the movement of your company’s products and assets.