Precision is a must: Basic WiFi, WiFi Atlas, WiFi Precise
5 August, 2019 by
Precision is a must: Basic WiFi, WiFi Atlas, WiFi Precise
Natalia Vavilina

There are many use cases that require precision. In this blog post we are going to explain the differences between our three WiFi-enabled versions of modes, so you know precisely (pun intended) which one to use for your project.

WiFi-enabled user modes are more precise versions of the Standard modes – event messages are sent with nearby MAC addresses in various formats, which allows for precise localization. There are three types of WiFi-enabled user modes that differ slightly in how they report data from the WiFi module.  Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Basic WiFi

3 MAC addresses sent with every mode-specific event (uplink message) in two messages (there are two events – 1/2 and 2/2). Processed usually through Google public network mapping services as Sigfox doesn’t support the format of the message. 

Benefits: good WiFi localization, in densely covered areas precision of around 3-10 meters.

Drawbacks: Google processing of the appended MAC addresses can get expensive (it’s based on a number of messages processed) so for somebody with their own platform might not be exactly the cheapest solution.

Read about the pet WiFi tracking use case we have done here. 

WiFi Atlas

An event is sent in one message and the following message contains no mode, event or anything else but two MAC addresses, including 6 bytes per each, 12 total (max uplink payload). This is in the format Sigfox can use to work with Atlas WiFi mapping services. 

Benefits: cheaper than google processing, is integrated directly into Sigfox so no other third parties have to be involved in the localization process (is done as an extra via a special connectivity token)

Drawbacks: the precision is not as good as the more MACs are appended the more precise the results.

WiFi Precise

An event is sent with 5 MAC pointers and the respective RSSI. This is the most precise solution but is limited to 128 MAC addresses as they are stored internally and only their pointer is sent. 

Benefits: very precise, <1 meter precision is possible

Drawbacks: is only usable in a known environment (warehouses), known routes around a property, etc, where the MACs are known, because the amount of MACs is limited. 

This means that WiFi Precise is very good for creating e.g. a map network coverage map of a warehouse and then tracking something within the warehouse.

So in conclusion, our devices can cover anything and everything that requires more localization precision than standard Sigfox can offer. And we’ve thought about all possible use cases and designed three WiFi-enabled sets of modes so you have plenty of options.