Indoor Positioning Systems - FAQ

What is an Indoor Positioning System?

Indoor Positioning Systems (or IPS) are location-based services that utilize alternative localization methods to environments where GPS signals are degraded or unavailable. It’s a technology that acts like GPS for indoor environments and it can be used to locate or navigate people or objects inside buildings, typically via mobile devices or smart trackers like smart phones, tablets or Bluetooth tags.

From wayfinding to food delivery and location sharing, there are many applications of GPS in our everyday life. However, there is no clear dominant technology for indoor localisation. As GPS relies on signals sent by satellites orbiting the earth. When inside a building or venture underground, the signals are degraded or distorted, causing drop in accuracy and misleading location information.

That’s where the indoor positioning system comes in: Instead of relying on the usage of the phone’s compass, which in many indoor environments fails to deliver useful orientation. IPS can be used in shopping malls, airports, workplaces, hospitals and hotels.

The technology is available for:
• App-based applications, such as indoor navigation, location sharing and contextual notifications.
• App-free applications, such as location-based analytics and asset tracking

What is dead reckoning?

Dead reckoning is a positioning technique leveraging mobile built-in sensors to recognize patterns of steps and real-time locations. By using the last known position, combining variables like moving speed and direction to estimate the most accurate real-time position and arrival time.

Typically, indoor positioning techniques can be reasonably accurate for a short period of time, but the actual real-time position and orientation errors increase over time, causing significant delay between the real position and the position shown on the map. Dead reckoning solves this issue by estimating the advanced position to
calculate the most accurate real-time position.

The accuracy of this method is limited by the sensor precision, magnetic disturbances and unknown variables such as the way the device is held, whether the users are taking stairs or riding an elevator etc. This is where Pointr’s Deep Location comes in - Despite the inherent sensor noise and complex human locomotion. Pointr Deep Location technology, a patented and award winning machine learning algorithm, helps solve the real-time accuracy and multi-floor issues, enabling precise real-time indoor positioning systems to create better location-based services.

What are some examples of what IPS can do?

By enabling Indoor positioning systems (IPS) in a building, you can offer location-based services, location-based engagement and locationbased

  1. Location-based Services
    1. Indoor Positioning
    2. Digital Mapping
    3. Indoor Navigation
    4. Asset Tracking
    5. Augmenting Reality
  2. Location-based Analytics
    1. Operational Analytics
    2. Heatmaps
    3. Crowd Flow
    4. Engagement Analytics
  3. Location-based Marketing/Notification
    1. Contextual Notification
    2. CRM & Loyalty Integration
    3. Location Sharing
  4. Safer Return to Buildings
    1. Safe WorkPlace
    2. Contact Tracing
    3. Visitor Flows

Where can the IPS technology be deployed?

We can deploy our technology in virtually any venue you desire, including smart offices, retail stores, airports, industrial buildings and hospitals. The technology can even be deployed even in complex venues with high-ceilings and in very large spaces.

What is the best place to deploy the Beacon?

The Intelligent Fixture ecosystem utilizes the wirelessly enabled fixtures in the ceiling to deploy IPS. The lighting fixtures provide an ideal location for the beacons, which are powered by the LED Driver eliminating the need for batteries.

What kind of accuracy can I get?

A few meters accuracy is good enough outdoors, but indoors every meter is significant. Our algorithms have been tested to deliver an accuracy of 1-3 meters, which is more than adequate for most IPS applications.

How does our IPS lighting solution work?

Fixtures are enabled with Intelligent Fixture Sensors and Intelligent Fixture controllers. These components enable networking of luminaires which include wall switches, sensors and load controllers for sophisticated lighting control. Bluetooth beacons are also included in select sensors and controllers enabling Location Services Applications like IPS.

The BLE Lighting systems emit the beacon signals and devices such as users’ smartphones, tablets or Douglas Lighting Controls Units receive the beacon signals. Through Pointr Mobile SDK, the beacon signals are processed and the most accurate “blue-dot” position is calculated for navigation or tracking purposes, this process can even work under offline mode. The position data is uploaded to Pointr Cloud for further location-based analytics. After integrating Pointr SDK with Douglas Lighting Controls’ Cloud Platform via Pointr position API, Douglas Lighting Controls’ Cloud Platform can create insightful analytics reports using the calculated position data.

What do I do if I have odd shaped linear fixtures?

Need a custom fit for your current fixture? We can help. We have a variety of custom fixtures which fit nearly linear models on the market. Additionally, the right indoor technology is applied to your fixture. We have a passion for getting it right and will work hard for you to ensure the success of your upgrade.

Do I have to turn on IPS now or can I do it later?

The beauty of our LED solution is that the fixtures are already enabled with IPS. The Beacons are already integrated into the luminaires. There is minimal setup and maintenance. The solution allows control for future code compliance. Turn IPS on now or in the future. It’s your decision.

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