Use Cases > Transportation > Indoor Positioning Systems

Indoor Positioning Systems

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An indoor positioning system (IPS) is a network of devices used to locate people or objects where GPS and other satellite technologies lack precision or fail entirely, such as inside multistory buildings, airports, parking garages, and underground locations. A large variety of techniques and devices are used to provide indoor positioning ranging from reconfigured devices already deployed such as smartphones, WiFi and Bluetooth antennas, digital cameras, and clocks; to purpose built installations with relays and Beacons strategically placed throughout a defined space. IPS has broad applications in commercial, military, retail, and inventory Tracking industries. There are several commercial systems on the market, but no standards for an IPS system. Instead each installation is tailored to spatial dimensions, building materials, accuracy needs, and budget constraints. Lights, radio waves, magnetic fields, acoustic signals, and behavioral analytics are all used in IPS networks. Indoor positioning systems use different technologies, including distance measurement to nearby anchor nodes (nodes with known fixed positions, e.g. WiFi / LiFi Access Points, Bluetooth beacons or Ultra-Wideband beacons), magnetic positioning, and dead reckoning. They either actively locate mobile devices and tags or provide ambient location or environmental context for devices.
Applicable Industries
  • Transportation
Applicable Functions
  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • Logistics & Warehousing
Market Size

the IPS market is expected to grow from EUR 0.9 billion in 2014 to EUR 4.2 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 36% between 2014 and 2019.


Business Viewpoint

How does Indoor Positioning impact an organization’s performance?

Most facilities nowadays have some form of networking. There is minimal additional infrastructure that is needed to support this type of system. These systems typically consist of Bluetooth beacons placed throughout a facility that would emit a signal and then it looks for these signals and measures the strength and usage.

Where is the “edge” of the Indoor Positioning solution deployed?

The edge of indoor positioning may vary depending on the type of system. If it is an ultrawide banned network, it may be better in accuracy but it requires custom hardware infrastructure. If it is Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, then it may already be installed and no additional infrastructure is needed.



Stakeholder Viewpoint

Which organizations, departments or individuals typically make the investment decisions and allocate the Indoor Positioning budget?

Depending on the organization, it can be from the leadership team, IT team or even Logistics department.

Which organizations, departments, or individuals are responsible for operating and maintaining Indoor Positioning?

Typically it is the IT department.

Who are the regular users of Indoor Positioning?

The nature of this solution is used in warehouse environments.



Technology Viewpoint

What sensors are typically used to provide Indoor Positioning data into the IoT system, and which factors define their deployment?

Depends on the infrastructure. If it is a Wi-Fi system then trackers are used along with Bluetooth to transmit data. Another common sensor is the Bluetooth Beacon which doesn't require any wiring.

What types of analysis are typically used to transform Indoor Positioning data into actionable information?

The data is used to track and locate the objects to give an accurate location.


Data Viewpoint

How is data obtained by the Indoor Positioning?

Depending on the system it may vary. Typically if it is a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth system, trackers are placed on pallets or other objects that send signals via wi-fi to the system to identify a location.

What volume of data is expected from each deployment and Indoor Positioning as a whole?

Depends on the situation. However, if a large number of assets are tracked, then it can be a lot of data. Typically once every few seconds.



Deployment Challenges

What business challenges could impact Indoor Positioning deployment?

Depending on the system infrastructure, there may be a high initial cost for installation (such as ultra-high bandwidth) or batteries.

What integration challenges could impact Indoor Positioning deployment?

One challenge that arises is whether this system should be completely isolated from their existing networks. WIth isolation, it may be more difficult to make use of the data.

What installation challenges could impact Indoor Positioning deployment?

Determining how to mount your infrastructure such as trainers or servers to support the system.

What regulatory challenges could impact Indoor Positioning deployment?

Educating the end user by making sure they are aware of all the different applications that can be derived.



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