Blog skyhook logo What is Hybrid Positioning?

Jan 21, 2021 9:30:00 AM

What is Hybrid Positioning?

Posted by Isolde Decker-Lucke

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In the current world, many connected device businesses are taking a hybrid positioning approach. Hybrid positioning location provider systems leverage GPS, Cellular, and Wi-Fi data to provide the most accurate location possible in any given environment. Whether outdoors or indoors, or in a basement or parking garage, the consumer expects that applications know where they are within roughly 20 meters of accuracy (the distance of about 4-5 car lengths). This level of accuracy ensures an uninterrupted user experience and removes lost location when entering areas that do not have the GNSS required ‘direct line of sight to the sky.’ 

The Benefits of Hybrid Wi-Fi Positioning Include:

  1. Taking advantage of existing infrastructure. 
  2. Not requiring additional infrastructure maintenance. 
  3. Being cost effective and easy to scale.
  4. Being low power.
  5. Working indoors and outdoors — globally.
  6. Being adjusted by adding additional Wi-Fi beacons, or more precise surveying and calibration to achieve the level of accuracy you need.
  7. Benefiting from changing and developing technology like Wi-Fi RTT, which allows devices to measure the distance to Wi-Fi routers and determine their indoor location with a precision of 1-2 meters.
  8. Being combined with other positioning technologies for flexible deployment, accuracy and power profiles.

Examples of Hybrid Location Positioning

Hybrid location is an important factor in locating devices, and providing a myriad of insights. Here are a few use cases: 

Location and Feature Phones 

Location has become a core requirement on mobile phones to enable features such as mapping, and that can provide accurate and precise location regardless of environment. Hybrid location uses multiple sources to return the best location position to the phone user, avoiding the common issues of GPS like inability to provide location when traveling in a tunnel, or losing track of location when in a city. 

Mobile Personal Emergency Response Devices (MPERs)

One wearables use case in which hybrid location is a critical component is mobile personal emergency response devices, also known as MPERs. People who suffer from life threatening or chronic diseases rely heavily on these devices to convey their location accurately to medical professionals when it matters the most. If a senior collapses at home and is alone and unable to get up, these devices can alert a medical team for immediate help. Since medical emergencies can happen anywhere, it’s critical that the device can be located either indoors or in dense urban environments. The emergency response team needs to know exactly where the person is so that they can get to them immediately without any uncertainty.

Wearable Fitness Monitors

Wearable watches, monitors, etc. have a range of capabilities from monitoring heart rate, measuring elevation climbed, and even comparison tracking to previous fitness performance. Fitness trackers have even been integrated into business models for gyms and virtual classes. Hybrid location is more dependable than GNSS for these devices as it provides location in areas that GNSS cannot detect. 
Skyhook’s Precision Location hybrid positioning system provides the ability to locate devices even when offline, in an extremely power efficient manner - offering integration options suitable for the entire spectrum of connected devices. This system enables Skyhook to provide the most accurate and precise location available.
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