Understanding Wi-Fi Indoor Localisation: How It Works and Its Advantages
Wi-Fi indoor localisation is a technique for determining the location of a device inside a building or other enclosed space using Wi-Fi signals. It is a widely used technology that can be found in many applications, such as retail stores, warehouses, offices, hospitals, and more.
There are several advantages to using Wi-Fi for indoor localisation, including its wide availability, low cost, high accuracy, ease of deployment, non-intrusive nature, and energy efficiency. Wi-Fi indoor localisation can be implemented using various techniques, such as Wi-Fi RTT (Round-Trip Time), trilateration, and multilateration, and it can be combined with other technologies, such as Bluetooth or inertial measurement units (IMUs), to improve accuracy and robustness.
In this blog post, we will explore the basics of Wi-Fi indoor localisation, including how it works, its advantages and disadvantages, and some examples of its use in different settings. We will also discuss the different techniques and technologies used in Wi-Fi indoor localisation and how they can be implemented and optimised to achieve the best results. Whether you are a developer, a business owner, or simply interested in the latest trends in indoor localisation, this blog post will provide a valuable overview of Wi-Fi indoor localisation and its role in modern society.
Next is Wi-Fi RTT, What is it ?
Wi-Fi Round-Trip Time (RTT) is a technique for determining the distance between a device and one or more Wi-Fi access points (APs). It works by measuring the time it takes for a signal to be transmitted from the device to the AP and back, and using this information to calculate the distance between the two.
To perform RTT, the device sends a request to the AP, which responds with a special type of frame called a "ranging frame." The device then measures the time it takes for the ranging frame to be received and uses this information, along with the speed of light, to calculate the distance between the device and the AP. This process is repeated for each AP in range, and the resulting distance measurements are used to determine the device's location.
RTT can be used in a variety of indoor localisation applications, including location-based services, asset tracking, and wayfinding. It is particularly useful in situations where other localisation technologies, such as GPS, are not available or are unreliable due to interference or other factors.
How it works:
Wi-Fi Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) is a technique for achieving very high accuracy in indoor localisation by using multiple Wi-Fi access points (APs) to correct for errors in the measurement process. It works by using the RTT technique to determine the distance between the device and each AP, and then using this information to calculate the device's location using a process called trilateration.
However, RTT measurements can be affected by various sources of error, such as multipath fading and interference. To mitigate these errors and achieve high accuracy, RTK uses multiple APs to perform differential correction. This involves comparing the RTT measurements from the different APs and using this information to refine the location calculation and eliminate errors.
RTK can achieve accuracy levels of a few centimeters or less, making it suitable for applications where very high accuracy is required, such as in surveying, construction, and manufacturing. It is typically implemented in conjunction with other technologies, such as inertial measurement units (IMUs) or Bluetooth, to provide even more accurate and robust localisation.
There are several advantages to using Wi-Fi for indoor localisation:
Wide availability: Wi-Fi is widely available in many indoor environments, including homes, offices, and retail stores, making it a convenient choice for indoor localisation.
Low cost: Wi-Fi technology is relatively low cost, which makes it an attractive option for indoor localisation.
High accuracy: With the use of advanced techniques and algorithms, Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can achieve high levels of accuracy, particularly when combined with other technologies such as Bluetooth or inertial measurement units (IMUs).
Easy to deploy: Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation systems are easy to deploy and can be implemented with minimal disruption to existing infrastructure.
Non-intrusive: Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation does not require the installation of additional sensors or devices, which makes it a non-intrusive solution for tracking the location of people and assets.
Energy efficient: Wi-Fi consumes relatively little power, which makes it an energy-efficient choice for indoor localisation applications.
Some examples of how Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can be used in different settings:
Retail stores: In a retail store, Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can be used to track the location of customers and employees in real-time. This information can be used to optimise store layouts, improve customer service, and increase sales. For example, a retailer could use Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation to track the location of customers as they move through the store, and use this data to send targeted promotions or recommendations to their smartphone.
Warehouses and manufacturing facilities: In a warehouse or manufacturing facility, Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can be used to track the location of employees and equipment in real-time. This information can be used to optimise workflows and reduce the time and effort required to complete tasks. For example, a warehouse worker equipped with a Wi-Fi-enabled device could use indoor localisation to quickly locate and retrieve items from the shelves, reducing the time required to complete orders.
Offices: In an office setting, Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can be used to track the location of employees and conference rooms in real-time. This information can be used to optimise meeting schedules and improve collaboration among team members. For example, an employee could use indoor localisation to find an available conference room or to locate a colleague in the office.
Hospitals: In a hospital setting, Wi-Fi-based indoor localisation can be used to track the location of patients, staff, and equipment in real-time. This information can be used to optimise patient care and improve the efficiency of hospital operations. For example, a nurse could use indoor localisation to quickly locate and retrieve medical equipment, or to locate a patient's bed in the hospital ward.
More about the warehouse and manufacturing industry on Wi-fi based indoor localisation can be useful for the employees for a number of reasons. Some possible benefits include:
Improved efficiency: By accurately tracking the location of employees and equipment within the warehouse or manufacturing facility, it becomes easier to optimise workflows and reduce the time and effort required to complete tasks.
Enhanced safety: Wifi-based indoor localisation can help ensure that employees are always aware of their surroundings and can easily find their way to safety in the event of an emergency.
Enhanced communication: With accurate location data, employees can easily communicate with one another and share their locations and availability. This can help facilitate collaboration and improve team productivity.
Improved asset management: By accurately tracking the location of equipment and other assets, it becomes easier to manage inventory and prevent loss or damage.
Enhanced customer service: Wifi-based indoor localisation can also be used to improve the customer experience, for example by providing real-time location data to help customers locate products or services within a store or facility.
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