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Indoor locating using radio signals and camera images

Locating mobile devices indoors using ambient radio signals and/or camera images is a technique, to estimate devices’ locations, that relies on the presence in a venue of sources of radio signals (such as WiFi access points and iBeacons) and/or on a substantial variability of the environment.

To understand how this indoor tracking technology works keep in mind that inside a building where there are Wi-Fi networks and/or BLE beacons, we are constantly surrounded by radio signals. Each radio signal source emits its own identifier, and the strength of each signal is a function of distance to the radio signal source and the physical obstacles that lie in between. Consequently, the signals (and their strengths) available by the window are quite different from those by the elevator, or when walking down a hallway or inside a room. This “geographic” variability of signals and strengths throughout a venue can be used to correlate specific locations inside the venue with detectable ambient radio signals.

Similarly, the “geographic” variability of different ambients/rooms throughout a venue can be used to correlate specific locations inside the venue with the images collected by devices’ camera. Locating mobile devices using camera images is like “déjà vu location”, meaning that locations are estimated based on images the system has previously seen, somehow closer to how human beings do it.

A big advantage of our indoor tracking technology based on ambient radio signals and/or camera images is that
it does not require the installation of additional hardware in the environment
if there are already enough radio signals and/or a meaningful variability of the environment.

Accuware Indoor Tracking

The Accuware Indoor Tracking engine makes use of:

  • the ambient radio signals (Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons) and/or the camera images (only for Android currently) to provide an average radius of accuracy of 1 meter when the technology is integrated inside a web or mobile application using the Accuware Indoor SDK available for:
    • Android/iOS smartphones, tablets, smartwatches.
  • the ambient radio signals (Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons) to provide an average radius of accuracy of 3 meters when the technology is integrated inside a web or mobile application using the Accuware Indoor “locate” API call available for:
    • any other smartphone, tablet, smartwatch (e.g. Windows 10 Mobile, BlackBerry 10)
    • any kind of embedded device (e.g. drones, laptops, medical equipment, vehicles etc..) with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip

PLEASE READ: if you need to track people and assets BUT you don’t want to develop a mobile App then you can consider using the Accuware Wearabouts App for Android/iOS or the Accuware mart Tags. Please get in touch with our sales team using this form and ask them more information about Accuware Wearabouts.

Overview of the setup steps

Here is an overview of all the steps that must be followed in order to setup and test Accuware Indoor Navigation:

  1. Plan the installation by verifying to have enough radio signals (Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons) and/or by verifying the variability of the ambient that will contain the devices to be tracked.
  2. Choose a reference system that will be used to perform the fingerprinting process and to during the test phase to visualize the locations of the devices to be tracked.
  3. Perform the fingerprinting of the venue of interest using the Accuware Indoors App for Android/iOS. During the fingerprinting process the Accuware Indoors App will automatically scan and upload (to a database on the Accuware server) the fingerprints of the radio signals and/or the camera images (only for Android currently) collected at multiple known locations of your venue.
  4. Test the performances of the Indoor Tracking engine using the same Accuware Indoors App used during the fingerprinting process.
  5. Integrate the Indoor Tracking engine inside your own mobile App using the Accuware Indoors SDK (for iOS/Android) or using our Accuware Indoors “locate” API call (on any platform capable of using RESTful API).
  6. Install your mobile App on all the devices that will have to benefit from our powerful indoor tracking system.

During the usage of your mobile App the Accuware Indoor Tracking engine will use the snapshots of the radio signals and/or the images collected in real-time at the device’s current location and after a pattern-matching against the database of fingerprints (created during the fingerprinting phase), it will estimate the device’s location making it available as a pair of latitude and longitude.

Support requests

In order to get the most out of this technology, please read carefully the whole documentation available in the left sidebar. If you have problems or doubts, please submit a support request using this form. We will be pleased to help you achieve your goals and get the most out of the Accuware technologies!