Accuware Wearabouts leverages the radio signals transmitted by Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons already available (or installed ad-hoc) in the area and the variability of the environment in which the system will be used. This means that a proper configuration and deployment of the radio signals and a proper evaluation of the environment variability are the keys for a successful installation of Accuware Wearabouts.

Radio signals

Step 1 – Identify the type of radio signals

The type of radio signals that must be available inside a test or production environment is a function of the target devices that will benefit from the Wearabouts engine. Specifically if the target devices are:

  • Android devices – you need an environment with Wi-Fi access points (2.4 and/or 5 GHz) and/or iBeacons installed. Please keep in mind that some OLD Android devices might not be able to take advantage of the fingerprints related to Wi-Fi access points working on the 5 GHz frequency. So you need to evaluate carefully the type of Wi-Fi access points needed for your project.
  • Smart Tags – you need an environment with Wi-Fi access points (2.4 GHz and protocols legacy/b/g/n). In addition to this, there must be a Wi-Fi network that will be used to provide internet connection to the Smart Tags. This network must have the following characteristics: frequency 2.4 GHz, protocols legacy/b/g, bandwidth 20 MHz and Wi-Fi Security “no password or WEP or WPA2 PSK”.
  • iOS devices on which there will be the Wearabouts App, then you need an environment with iBeacons installed.
  • Android devices + Smart Tags – you need an environment with Wi-Fi access points (2.4 GHz and protocols legacy/b/g/n). In addition to this, there must be a Wi-Fi network that will be used to provide internet connection to the Smart Tags. This network must have the following characteristics: frequency 2.4 GHz, protocols legacy/b/g, bandwidth 20 MHz and Wi-Fi Security “no password or WEP or WPA2 PSK”.
  • iOS devices + Smart Tags – you need an environment with Wi-Fi access points (2.4 GHz and protocols legacy/b/g/n) AND iBeacons. In addition to this, there must be a Wi-Fi network that will be used to provide internet connection to the Smart Tags. This network must have the following characteristics: frequency 2.4 GHz, protocols legacy/b/g, bandwidth 20 MHz and Wi-Fi Security “no password or WEP or WPA2 PSK”.
  • Android devices + iOS devices – you need an environment with iBeacons installed.
  • Android devices + iOS devices + Smart Tags – you need an environment with Wi-Fi access points (2.4 GHz and protocols legacy/b/g/n) AND iBeacons. In addition to this, there must be a Wi-Fi network that will be used to provide internet connection to the Smart Tags. This network must have the following characteristics: frequency 2.4 GHz, protocols legacy/b/g, bandwidth 20 MHz and Wi-Fi Security “no password or WEP or WPA2 PSK”.

At this point you should be completely aware about the type of radio signals (Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth) that must be available inside your environment to use Wearabouts.

Step 2 – Compute the amount of radio signals

2.1 – In a lab/house/office

Very often we are asked what is the minimum number of radio signals for a test installation of Wearabouts inside a test environment like an office/lab/house. We recommend to carry out a test installation with at least 5 radio signals. This is the right number of radio signals to get meaningful results and understand how the system behaves. Keep in mind that 5 radio signals can provide meaningful location results inside an area of about 450 sqm. If you want to test the system in a bigger area (or deploy the system in production) then you should refer to the next paragraph to understand how to estimate the minimum number of radio signals that should be available in a wider area.

2.2 – In a production environment

There is no unique and standard equation to compute the perfect number of radio signals for each environment and there is no limit regarding the maximum number. Increasing the radio signals density will always increase the system accuracy. However, from the accuracy standpoint, we have a couple of suggestions regarding the minimum number of radio signals (WiFi APs and/or iBeacons) that need to be detected in your environment in order to get close to a desired accuracy (for a defined area dimension):

    \[WiFi APs = (\frac{\sqrt{Area}}{WiFi APs Spacing}+1)^{2}\]

Here is a rough estimate of how the level of accuracy varies with the WiFi APS SPACING:

~12 meters of WiFi APS SPACING -> leads an AVERAGE ACCURACY of ~2 meter 
~18 meters of WiFi APS SPACING -> leads an AVERAGE ACCURACY of ~4 meters

When using Wearabouts for iOS it must be kept in mind that the iBeacons MUST be deployed with a spacing of about 10 meters. This means that the iBEACONS needed must be computed with this formula:

    \[iBeacons = (\frac{\sqrt{Area}}{10}+1)^{2}\]

Step 3 – Check the amount of radio signals

Once you are aware about the type of radio signals that must be available, you need to check the amount of radio signals already available in the environment in order to understand if additional radio signals may be needed.

PLEASE READ: if you are already aware about the fact that:

  • there are no Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons inside your environment
  • or the locations of the Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons already installed might change over time

…then you can skip paragraphs 3.1 and 3.2 and go to Step 4!

The amount of radio signals can be checked in 2 ways:

3.1 – Use an application

The amount of available radio signals can be checked by using an application to detect Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons:

  • Wi-Fi access points – can be detected using the Wi-Fi manager built in any smartphone/laptop or using a 3rd party application, such as Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android.
  • iBeacons – can be detected by using any of the many 3rd party application available on Google Play or iTunes when searching: iBeacons.

Walking inside the entire environment, you need to verify (using one of the applications above) if there are at least 3-4 radio signals visible at the same time during the whole walk. If there is a lack of radio signals inside specific areas of the environment you need to take note of those areas marking them on a printed version of your floor plan, because additional Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons must be added in those areas (as explained in the paragraph 3).

3.2 – Ask the network administrator

The amount of available radio signals can be checked by asking the owner of the venue or the network administrator, that can provide a floor plan with the current deployment of Wi-Fi access points or iBeacons.

Step 4 – Configuration of the radio signal sources

The Wi-Fi access points and the iBeacons already available (or installed ad-hoc) must be configured properly in order to be detected during the fingerprinting process and used during the positioning process.

4.1 – iBeacons (for Android and/or iOS)

The iBeacons already available (or installed ad-hoc) must be configured properly in order to be detected during the fingerprinting process and used during the positioning process. The process of configuration of the BTLE beacons that are compliant with the iBeacon standard (from now on simply iBeacons) is similar for all the vendors because as just said the iBeacon is a standard and this means that all the vendors should expose the same parameters inside their configuration Apps. More information about the iBeacons (where should be purchased, interference etc..) can be found inside this page.

If you have any kind of doubt regarding the configuration of your iBeacons please submit a support request using this form and tell us the exact model of iBeacon that you want to configure and we will be more than pleased to help you.

Configuration for Android

When used with Android devices the iBeacons must be configured with these parameters:

  • Transmission power: set to the maximum (usually 3 or 4 dBm). If you are concerned about battery powered iBeacons, keep in mind that the Transmission power has a really small impact on the battery life.
  • Advertisement rate:
    • all iBeacons powered with power supplies – 0.5 second/advertisement (2 advertisement/second)
    • all iBeacons powered with batteries – 1 second/advertisement
    • mix of iBeacons powered with batteries and power supplies – 1 second/advertisement
  • UUID, Major, Minor:
    • make sure there are no other iBeacons installed with the same UUID of your iBeacons.
    • UUID: leave as-is.
    • Major: leave to 0.
    • Minor: different for each iBeacon! 
  • Standard: if it can be set, then it needs to be set like this:
    • iBeacon – ON
    • AltBeacon, Eddystone UID and Eddystone URL standards – OFF

SUGGESTION: write on each iBeacon the combination of Major and Minor with a permanent marker.

Configuration for iOS (or iOS and Android)

When used with iOS devices (or iOS and Android devices at the same time) the iBeacons must be configured with these parameters:

  • Transmission power: set to -18 dBm to achieve a transmission radius of about 5 meters.
  • Advertisement rate:
    • all iBeacons powered with power supplies – 0.5 second/advertisement (2 advertisement/second)
    • all iBeacons powered with batteries – 1 second/advertisement
    • mix of iBeacons powered with batteries and power supplies – 1 second/advertisement
  • UUID, Major, Minor:
    • make sure there are no other iBeacons installed with the same UUID of your iBeacons.
    • UUID: leave as-is. Take note of the UUID of your iBeacons. You will need it in one of the next installation steps!
    • Major and Minor:
      • When installing up to 10 iBeacons: for each one of the iBeacons configured set a different Major values starting from Major 0 up to Major 9 and leave the Minor values to 0 for all the iBeacons.
      • When installing more than 10 iBeacons: follow the previous rule for the first 10 iBeacons. For any additional iBeacon set a different Major values starting from Major 0 up to Major 9 and set the Minor value to 1. Once the iBeacon with Major 9 and Minor 1 has been configured, you can repeat this process with a Minor value equal to 2. The rules are simple:
        • you need to use all the Major values from 0 to 9.
        • there must not be 2 iBeacons in the environment with the same Major and Minor!
  • Standard: if it can be set, then it needs to be set like this:
    • iBeacon – ON
    • AltBeacon, Eddystone UID and Eddystone URL standards – OFF

SUGGESTION: write on each iBeacon the combination of Major and Minor with a permanent marker.

4.2 – Wi-Fi access points (for Android and/or Smart Tags)

The Wi-Fi access points already available (or installed ad-hoc) must be configured properly in order to be detected during the fingerprinting process and used during the positioning process. You can install Wi-Fi access points working on 2.4 and/or 5 GHz. Anyway please remember that:

  • some old Android devices might not be able to detect 5 GHz radio signals
  • the Smart Tags are able detect (and connect) to WiFi networks with very specific characteristics (as explained inside Step 1).

So, please choose and configure carefully the type of Wi-Fi access points needed for your project.

The Wi-Fi access points need to be configured with these parameters:

  • Transmission power: set to the maximum (often 20 dBm).
  • SSID: at least 1 SSID must be active. The access points must be set to broadcast their identifier.
  • SSID visibility: it does not matter.
  • MAC address: must be unique for all the Wi-Fi access points within the same site/location.
  • Internet connection: IF the devices will be able to connect to Internet using another Internet connection then it is not necessary to provide Internet connection through the access points. In this case the access points need only electricity to transmit their SSIDs.

If you have any kind of doubt regarding the configuration of your Wi-Fi access points please submit a support request using this form and tell us the exact model of access point that you want to configure and we will be more than pleased to help you.

Step 5 – Install radio signal sources

5.1 – Deployment model of the radio signal sources

As explained inside the Accuracy page, the most accurate results can be obtained when tracking devices inside the perimeter defined by the radio signal sources. This is the reason why the first step during the deployment of the radio signal sources, is to place them along the perimeter of the area that will contain devices to be tracked. Once a first set of radio signal sources has been placed along the perimeter then you can place the remaining radio signal sources uniformly (more or less in a grid pattern) inside the area that you want to monitor.

Accurate estimate: if you provide us a floor plan with a measurement unit, the highlighted areas in which the system will be used, and the locations of the existing sources of radio signals, we can let you know if the amount and distribution of radio signals is good enough to reach the objectives of your project. If there are no radio signals, feel free to use this form and provide us:

  • a floor plan with a unit of measurement and the highlighted areas of interest.
  • a floor plan with the locations of the electricity outlets (this is needed in order to minimize the number of extension cords).
  • 8-10 meaningful pictures of the environment (if available).
  • any information regarding constraints related to the placement of the radio signals.

We will be pleased to provide an estimate regarding the number of radio signals needed and the deployment model suggested.

5.1.1 – Deployment for Android and Smart Tags

In the 2 examples below it is possible to find the best placement for WiFi access points and iBeacons when the target devices are Android devices and/or Smart Tags.

Where to install 6 radio signal sources

Where to install 15 radio signal sources

5.1.2 – Deployment for iOS devices

In the example below it is possible to find the best placement for the iBeacons when the target devices are iOS devices or at the same time iOS devices and Android devices. The iBeacons installed need to be placed in a very particular way. Basically iBeacons with the same Major value must not be placed close to each other. Doing so iOS devices, with the Wearabouts App on board, when moving around will enter into different regions (identified by different Majors) enabling in this way the background tracking (that would not be triggered with a standard deployment of the iBeacons).

Where to install 15 iBeacons and the Major values (in RED) of each one of the iBeacons
Note that iBeacons with the same Majors are NOT that adjacent to each other!!!

5.2 – Physical locations

The physical location of the radio signal sources affects the system accuracy. If you have the freedom to install the radio signal sources in your preferred locations then we suggest to install them in these physical locations (in order of preference):

  1. on the ground.
  2. on the lower part of a wall/column.
  3. an any other item that is very close to the ground or to the ceiling. Please make sure the signal source is attached to an object that won’t be moved.
  4. on the ceiling.
  5. inside a false-ceiling
  6. on the upper part of a wall/column.

IMPORTANT SUGGESTIONS:

  • if possible, try to avoid install the radio signal sources halfway between the ceiling and the floor (e.g. on desks).
  • if possible, try to avoid to mix the physical locations (e.g. some radio signal sources close to the ground and some radio signal sources close to the ceiling)
  • print your floor plan and write down the location of each radio signal source installed and its ID (the MAC address for the WiFi access points and the UUID, Major and Minor for the iBeacons.

5.3 – Multi-floor buildings

Accuware Wearabouts can work inside multi-storey buildings, allowing to track (or provide location to) devices located on the various floors. In order to track (or provide location to) devices inside multiple floors of a building, you have to:

  1. Create multiple logical Levels according to the multiple physical floors in which you want to use Accuware Wearabouts. You can create more levels by following these steps:
    1. Access the Accuware dashboard at this link.
    2. Select General > Levels.
    3. Click on the Add Level button.
    4. Select the Level ID and assign a Name and a Description (optional).
    5. Click on Save.
  2. Upload a floor plan for each one of the levels of interest following the instructions in Choose a reference System page.
  3. Make sure you have (or install) a comparable number of Wi-Fi access points and/or iBeacons on all the floors of interest. If you have multiple levels and you have freedom regarding the placement of the sources of radio signal then, to reduce the possibility of jumps of the locations between the levels , we suggest to:
    • keep the same vertical alignment of the radio signals across the levels.
    • keep the same physical location across the levels (e.g. if the radio signals are placed close to the ceiling of level 1, then we strongly suggest to place the radio signals close to the ceiling also on level 0 and level 2).
  4. Perform the fingerprinting process on ALL the floors of interest.

PLEASE READ:

  • The field “Altitude (meters)” that can be added for each “Level” is just for your reference but it is not taken into account by the positioning algorithm at this time.
  • For each Site you will find the default level with LevelID 0. This level can not be eliminated.
  • Using the Accuware dashboard it is possible to create up to 30 Levels (in addition to the Level 0). Additional levels can be created using the PUT call at this link.

Camera images

Coming soon