It’s been said that Indoor Positioning is going to revolutionize industry. There is no denying the massive impact GPS has had on society and business; therefore, it is difficult to ignore the potential of a positioning technology that capitalizes on where human beings spend more than 70% of their time – indoors!

The ability to equip office buildings, construction sites, factories, warehouses, hospitals, and other large venues with real-time indoor location of people, machines and assets will enable a multitude of new applications.

Office buildings can enable contact tracing; construction sites can improve as-built monitoring and worker safety; and manufacturing facilities and hospitals can improve facility safety and efficiency through real-time location of people and equipment.

The possibilities are endless…. but so are the Indoor Positioning technologies and solutions. There is no one-size-fits-all “Indoor GPS” so how do we decide which technology will be best for a large facility? Everyone is looking for the most accurate indoor positioning for the least cost and effort.

A comparison of indoor positioning technologies for venues over 10,000 square feet is shown in the table below:

In this comparison it is shown that UWB (Ultra wideband) and similar technologies such as Audio or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) AOA (Angle Of Arrival) are the most accurate technology. However, due to the need to install infrastructure (nodes, etc.) every few meters, the cost and effort of installation and maintenance in a large venue outweighs the benefit of centimeter-level accuracy.

Beacons are a popular choice for small venues such as store front retailers where infrastructure and maintenance costs can be reduced with the small venue size.  Bluetooth beacons are less expensive than UWB, but the infrastructure and maintenance costs become too high for large venues that require meter-level positioning accuracy.

Wi-Fi is the least accurate solution providing accuracy of 5 to 30m. Setup effort and maintenance costs can be low for this solution; however, dense Wi-Fi infrastructure is required for good positioning accuracy, which can be more costly than a typical Wi-Fi AP network setup for communication purposes. This solution is ideal for most consumer applications since the Wi-Fi infrastructure is already setup and can be used or surveyed for positioning (e.g. finding a gate at an airport or a retailer in a shopping center).

TDK Trusted Positioning’s VENUE solution provides balances accuracy with cost through a software product. VENUE targets facilities that typically exceed 10,000 sq m and provides an infrastructure-free solution with accuracy of 1 to 3 m. VENUE setup effort is low and there is no maintenance as the solution is self-maintaining.

How does VENUE work?

A mobile device and indoor map are all that is needed to create an indoor positioning solution with VENUE. Using the built-in inertial and magnetic sensors, VENUE tracks the movement of a person or wheeled platform indoors using geomagnetic positioning, inertial navigation, and other wireless signals of opportunity such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. VENUE integrates all sources of infrastructure-free positioning technology to achieve a typical accuracy of 1-3m.

Not only does VENUE have SDKs for iOS, Android and embedded Apps, VENUE includes tools for easy surveying and site setup without significant upfront capital expenditure. The software auto-generates survey routes and provides crowdsourcing options to bridge gaps in un-surveyed areas. Not only are expensive infrastructure and installation costs avoided, but the system is also self-maintaining over time, which means there is no need for maintenance or re-surveying. 

Watch the demo:

There is no “silver-bullet” solution for indoor positioning; however, by using a combination of technologies, VENUE balances performance and cost for B2B applications.

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