INDOOR LOCATION

Indoor location allows us to locate people or objects indoors thanks to the use of different technologies. DS LABS is specialized in precise location using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons.

By deploying a set of devices of this type, we can locate both people and objects as well as guide people, either indoors and outdoors. In addition, we can collect valuable information thanks to beacons, and this lets us know and analyse how people or objects move around. We can also obtain more information such as the most repeated routes, identify hot and cold areas, time spent in each area, frequency of visits and so on.

BATTO IPS, Indoor Positioning System

Sistema de localización y tracking de alta precisión para el análisis de comportamientos en interiores.

 

Main features of BLE technology

  • Minimum power consumption. Until a while ago, Bluetooth technology was characterised by a considerable power consumption because connections between devices require a continuous flow of data. However, BLE technology is entirely oriented to keep the power consumption level to a minimum. In fact, the average power consumption is 10 times lower than the classic Bluetooth technology.
  • Very low latency connection. Time needed to connect and exchange data between devices is reduced using this technology.
  • Security and reliability. This type of systems considers these important aspects because exchange of data is made through wireless technologies.
  • Wide connection range. BLE technology has a modulation type slightly different from the classic one, reaching connection ranges of up to 300 metres. Likewise, location accuracy can reach the level of centimetres.
  • Adoption as a standard by large manufacturer and providers. The major device manufacturers incorporate BLE technology as a standard.
  • Low cost. BLE technology is characterised by its low implementation cost, which allows it to be chosen as a competitive solution in the market.

Accuracy

Despite transmitter and receiver devices calibration, propagation of signal is degraded by multiple reflections of radiofrequency signals on surfaces. So, it is necessary to apply different types of physical and mathematical algorithms to compensate for these problems.

This correction of radiofrequency errors can also use alternative sources of navigation information, such as mobile device sensors and knowledge of environmental conditions to increase the accuracy and the robustness of the solution.

Indoor location technologies comparison

Global satellite navigation systems (GPS or GNSS) are generally not suitable for establishing indoor locations as waves are attenuated and dispersed by ceilings, walls and other objects. The main advantage of an indoor location system using beacons instead of GPS is that it can be used in places where the GPS signal does not work and it also allows to differentiate between plants.

NFC technology and QR codes need user interaction with the system. Its drawback is that users must start the contextualized and location dialog with the platform. Other radiofrequency technologies based on the installation of Wi-Fi antennas are more expensive and have a high margin of error, so they are only used in situations where accuracy is not a priority.

BLE offers a much more complete experience allowing location and contextualisation in any location and without user interaction (wireless), with a very low margin of error and at a very low cost. In other words, it combines the advantages of existing technologies without incurring their disadvantages.