Skip to main content

Sensor Fusion goes solo with WiFiSLAM

Over a year ago, in our analysis of indoor location positioning technology, we noted a lot of research by major mobile companies in sensor fusion, using a smartphone's sensors to detect the phone's motion and thereby track the phone's location.  At the time we predicted that start-up companies would emerge that take this approach to indoor location positioning.

In the year since, we've seen a number of start-up companies launching sensor fusion technology. In recent months we've blogged about the Senion Labs launch in Singapore, which was the first large-scale commercial launch based on sensor fusion, and Pole Star's launch that included sensor fusion for iPhones, both of which integrated sensor fusion with other technologies. We also blogged about SenionLabs sensor fusion technology when we first saw it at MWC 2012.

The reason that these companies used sensor fusion in conjunction with other technologies is that sensor fusion is very hard to implement with precision.  The reason is clear: If you're tracking the motion of a phone, and you're off by a single degree in measuring the direction you're walking, the error will compound itself very noticeably. The same is true if you are off by a little bit in measuring how far the phone has moved, and might not know which door the user entered. One solution is to implement sensor fusion in hardware, as several chip companies are doing, and another is to use other approaches (map constraints, Wi-Fi) to correct the errors of the sensor fusion.

But now a American start-up called WiFiSLAM has demonstrated sensor fusion technology operating all by itself, tracking location effectively without any use of Wi-Fi or GPS technologies.  Their demo video shows their system tracking the phone's location as it moves around a parking lot, with some deviations but all in all precise enough for any application.

Note that we don't know exactly what it took to get this demo running.  The demo looks like it used map constraints, for example knowing where there are cars and assuming that the person isn't walking through a car, and thereby constraining the sensor fusion. They may also have held the phone very carefully and in a specific orientation.  But it's still a very impressive demonstration of an up-and-coming technology.

WiFiSLAM is a relatively new start-up with Wi-Fi based technology, that's distinguished itself in the past with their self-service location-mapping applications.  This is the first we've seen of their sensor fusion, which is in the process of being integrated into the rest of their solution.

Take a look at their sensor fusion demo below, and read more about it here.

We look forward to WiFiSLAM bringing this new technology to market, in conjunction with their mapping tools and the rest of their solution.

Want to understand all the ins and outs of indoor location positioning technology research and solutions?  Check out the Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Positioning technology.

Popular posts from this blog

Intel demos indoor location technology in new Wi-Fi chips at MWC 2015

Intel made several announcements at MWC 2015, including a new chipset for wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) in mobile devices. This new chipset, the 8270, include in-chip support for indoor location positioning. Below we explain their technology and show a video of it in action. With this announcement, Intel joins Broadcom, Qualcomm and other chip makers in moving broad indoor location positioning into mobile device hardware.

The transition of indoor location positioning into chips is a trend identified in the newest Grizzly Analytics report on Indoor Location Positioning Technologies, released the week before MWC 2015. By moving indoor location positioning from software into hardware, chips such as Intel's enable location positioning to run continuously and universally, without using device CPU, and with less power consumption.

Intel's technology delivers 1-3 meter accuracy, using a technique called multilateration, generating a new location estimate every second. While 1-3 meter …

Ultra-Wideband Poised to Enter Smartphones

Recent years have seen a constant increase in the speed at which software innovations reach market. One day’s new concept can be the next day’s innovative mobile application, the following day’s ten competing mobile applications, and the day after that’s built-in phone feature.
In hardware, however, innovation tends to go slower. Addition of new hardware chips or components to smartphones, for example, are a constant worry for smartphone manufacturers, who need to be 100% certain that the new innovation won’t in some way hurt the other functions and components of the phone.
Does adding a new chip affect in any way the electrical signals between the other chips? Does a new wireless component affect the radio waves of the core phone or wireless components? Do signals to or from a new antenna hurt the performance of other antennas in the device?
Early cellphones and smartphones often had concerns of this sort. Some early smartphones did not include vibrate-mode because the shaking int…

33 Indoor Location Technologies at Mobile World Congress 2017

The number of companies exhibiting indoor location technologies at the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) skyrocketed to 33!

Before MWC started, we released our Guide to Indoor Location at MWC, with 23 companies:

During the conference we notified our guide recipients of 10 other indoor location exhibitors that we saw. (Sign up here to receive our guide and to be on our mailing list for next year's MWC.)

This is many more indoor location related exhibits that previous years. The area is growing by leaps and bounds! Our recent report on indoor location technologies analyzed and profiled almost 200 companies!

Here are some videos, so you can see the technologies in action, followed by a list of the other indoor location companies that were at MWC.

First up is Philips Lighting, with high-accuracy indoor location positioning based on LED light modulation and visible light communication (VLC) technology:

Next comes Estimote, makers of Bluetooth (BLE) beacons, who introduced self-mapping b…