Location information has gained significant attention for a variety of outdoor applications thanks to the reliable and popular GPS system. With the help of GPS, automotive navigation for public use has helped drivers find destinations such malls, gas stations and hotels. In aviation industry, GPS assists airplanes to navigate flight paths accurately and reliably. The use of GPS has enabled a rise in location-based services for mobile phones and computers and has helped unlock the potential for business to serve location-relevant content to users. The extension of outdoor location to the indoors is a promising multi-billion dollar industry. Indoor location technology can provide the fundamental basis for a myriad of location-enabled services in indoor environments such as locating personnel and objects in residential homes, guiding shoppers inside a mall for the latest discount offers, locating the elderly in nursing homes or children tracking in day-care centers. In closed environments such as indoors, however, GPS can’t be used and thus new methods are required to enable location based services.
Researchers at EBTIC have discovered a method to more accurately determine the location of subjects indoors.
This is achieved through a new technique that exploits existing WiFi network infrastructure where RF characteristics are used to create location specific signatures. In a survey stage, the RF signatures are collected across a given indoor floor and stored in a database. Then in the real-time stage, the user measures an RF signature at an unknown location and queries the database in order to estimate the location using well-known pattern recognition techniques. EBTIC researchers have developed a new RF signature that is more accurate than existing techniques.