Geolocation precision and WiFi localisation possibilities
12 December, 2018 by
Geolocation precision and WiFi localisation possibilities
Natalia Vavilina

WiFi localization possibilities

There are many ways how to do geolocation and indoor location with Sigfox especially combining Sigfox with technologies like GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi localization possibilities.

GPS is not always the most suitable for those as GPS needs a very long fix time, clear sky above you and rather high power consumption. Most people think that using GPS they receive the same behavior as they receive on their mobiles. At the same time, this is not true as mobile phones use large lookup tables to speed up GPS fixes, GSM localisation, WiFi localisation, gyroscopes and magnetometers plus AI. Also, GPS can be easily scrambled/jammed.

So adding GPS to the Sigfox device makes only sense when you can be sure the device sees the sky, doesn’t need many positions, or provide a large battery and you can afford the price of the device.

On the other hand, is the Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service using just Sigfox messages and their strengths. No additional HW or processing is necessary. The price from Sigfox is reasonable for this service, where you get in the callback the approximate position. The accuracy depends on network density. From field testing, we see an average accuracy of around 1 km in the Czech Republic. A big advantage is that there is no power penalty associated with it and the objects can be located in deep indoor or in the wilderness. Anywhere where there is Sigfox coverage. The most useful is when you need to know at whatever airport your luggage ended or wherever your goods are in the factory, on the way, on the border, in stock or with customers.

Simple Pack

SimplePack fully supports Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service. The modes “Track me” and “Trace me” are suitable for this kind of tracking. IO Frog and other platforms are able to visualize the location.

In the middle what regards cost, power consumption and precision it the WiFi tracking.

It is based on the principle of adding a cheap WiFI module to the Sigfox device and listening through WiFi which is the closest WiFi station. Then it sends their IDs through Sigfox to worldwide databases or Google service or upcoming Sigfox Atlas WiFi service and the database/service returns the location.

It can be combined with a database of your WiFI stations in order to increase the accuracy.  What is more, you can cheaply deploy more WiFi stations as beacons. (Currently, a WiFI router costs under 10 USD).

The advantage of this tracking is a low cost, low power consumption, working indoors. For locations not covered by WiFi or the service, it can be combined with classical Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service as a fallback.

Precision depends totally on the mode of deployment and quality of the WiFi database. In field testing, it is between 20 and 150m.

Simple Pack 4.0 WiFi

SimplePack 4.0 Plus WiFi is the smallest and cheapest WiFi tracker in the market with exceptional radio performance and battery life featuring even more sensors such as precise temperature, shock/fall detection, light/opening sensor or reed contact.

We have also added a local HW embedded geofencing. When we tell the device which WiFi he must to see, the device gets out the range of those locally coded WiFi/beacons. Then it sends an alert and gets switched to more frequent geolocation to locate the lost object.

Integrators are free to use a platform and database of their choice. Due to smart firmware, we support Google location, Sigfox Atlas WiFi service, or any other database.

You can also use IO Frog platform for immediate demo or commercial visualizations and data processing.