In a new video we present a short introduction to the world of Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS). The video is meant to explain the core basics of our Indoor Positioning System in an informative and easy way for those who are new to the concept.
We need to know where we are in the world…
To find our way back home after a long hunting trip on the savannah or navigating our way across the big oceans – as long as we can remember, it has been important to know where we are in the world.
The evolution of navigation has come a long way; from celestial navigation (i.e. looking at the stars to determine ones position) to maps and compass.
In the modern age, we rely heavily on GPS to find our way around while driving, walking or biking. However, there’s a big problem!
…but GPS does not work inside buildings!
The satellite signals of GPS are using a frequency that cannot move through solid objects easily. In addition, a GPS device requires a series of satellites to successfully position the device. When trying to use a GPS device indoors, there is no free line-of-sight to the satellites. This means a wide variety of physical objects stand inline between the device and the satellites needed for an accurate position.
This is why we have Indoor Positioning Systems
Tho solve this problem, and provide users with an accurate and reliable navigation indoors, one can set up an Indoor Positioning System (IPS).
What’s amazing is that IPS are more accurate than GPS, something that is needed when for example walking the aisles of a supermarket or finding your way to the right appointment in a large hospital.
Jet planes and smartphones – who could have known?
When researching at Linköping University, with it’s long and close ties to the aviation industry, we discovered in a eureka moment that there are many similarities between the sensors used in airplanes and modern smartphones.
By combining a range of sensors you get a really accurate position indoors
Most smartphones today contain a variety of sensors that can be used in a variety of ways. The sensors that are relevant for indoor positioning are the gyroscope, the compass, the altimeter and the accelerometer.
By combining all the data from these sensors, along with WiFi data, and Bluetooth signals – a process called sensor fusion – our algorithm is able to calculate an accurate and robust position indoors.