The global indoor positioning market is currently valued at USD 10.9B and is further expected to grow to 28.9B USD by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 22.3%. Indoor positioning is a growing application of the Internet of Things allowing people and organizations to accurately position people and devices in walled spaces.
Prominent factors behind the rapid growth of indoor positioning technologies are smartphone penetration, advancement in internet technologies, and government support for the adoption and development of indoor positioning systems.
Another factor driving the advancement and development of indoor positioning systems is SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) which essentially uses computer vision, sensors, and advanced mapping algorithms to map an unknown space and position the observer.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is an advanced technology developed on the Bluetooth 4.0 standard, offering Bluetooth-based connectivity while consuming low energy. By the market size of the technologies being used in indoor positioning, BLE is the leading technology that is driving indoor positioning demands. The reason behind it? Smartphone compatibility of BLE technology. Since both, android and iOS-based smartphones support BLE technology, setting up BLE based indoor positioning system is extremely cost-effective.
What is BLE Beacon Indoor Positioning?
BLE beacons or Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are small devices that work on BLE standards and like a beacon, share Bluetooth-based signals with data (pulse of data) periodically.
BLE beacon indoor positioning is an advanced way to leverage BLE beacons and position the location of users with BLE-enabled devices such as smartphones, with respect to BLE beacon.
In retail stores, BLE beacons use the PAwR (Periodic Advertisement with Response) feature of BLE standard to position customers with respect to products and based upon their shopping interests/history, customized advertisements and promotions are shared directly on their smartphones.
Similarly, at airports, BLE beacons are used to share details of boarding, departure, and arrival of flights, and information related to security, is directly transmitted to flyers on their smartphones. Information related to nearest exits, baggage claims, etc. is also sent to customers on their smartphones.
Indoor and Outdoor Positioning Technologies
We are well aware that prominent technologies like GPS (Global Positioning System) and Wi-Fi are used for outdoor positioning and provide accurate results. GPS can accurately map all GPS-enabled devices and provide details of traffic on popular city roads. One can also share the geo-coordinates of shops and individuals and other people can easily find them using their smartphones and tablets.
Since GPS is based on satellite mapping, it is not very effective in indoor conditions as walls offer significant obstructions to the signals and that is why Indoor positioning technologies are witnessing rapid development efforts.
The use of BLE, UWB, and Wi-Fi is increasingly getting huge traction in indoor positioning and since most IoT devices are battery-operated, low-power-consuming technology is preferred.
BLE beacon Indoor Positioning and Tracking System
The advent of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology has revolutionized indoor positioning and tracking systems. BLE beacons are small, low-cost devices that transmit signals and enable precise location tracking within indoor environments.
BLE beacons utilize Bluetooth technology, specifically the BLE protocol, to establish communication between the beacon and mobile devices. These beacons are typically battery-powered and emit periodic signals containing unique identifiers. Mobile devices equipped with Bluetooth capabilities can detect and receive these signals, allowing for precise indoor positioning and tracking.
Signal Propagation and Range
BLE beacons operate in the 2.4 GHz frequency range and employ advanced signal modulation techniques to achieve reliable communication. The signal propagation is influenced by factors such as obstacles, interference, and transmission power. BLE beacons typically have a range of up to 30 meters, making them suitable for small to medium-sized indoor environments.
How BLE beacon Indoor Positioning and Tracking System Work?
The BLE beacon indoor positioning and tracking system employs small BLE beacons, gateways, and BLE-enabled smart devices such as smartphones and tablets to position users and objects. BLE Gateways offer a seamless connection, sharing data in real-time between beacons and sensors through cloud. Various smart home applications and wearable devices are directly dependent on BLE technology.
Let’s see how this works for indoor positioning:
Beacon Deployment and Calibration
For accurate positioning, BLE beacons need to be deployed strategically throughout the indoor environment. The number of beacons required depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the space. Calibration is a crucial step in the deployment process and involves configuring the beacons to ensure accurate distance measurements. This calibration process may involve fine-tuning transmission power and signal interval parameters.
Integration with Mobile Applications
BLE beacon systems integrate seamlessly with mobile applications through software development kits (SDKs). SDKs provide APIs and libraries that enable developers to leverage beacon data for positioning and tracking purposes. Mobile applications can access beacon signals, RSSI values, and unique identifiers to determine the user's location, trigger location-based actions, and provide personalized experiences.
Trilateration and Positioning Algorithms
To determine the position of a mobile device within an indoor space, BLE beacon systems employ trilateration algorithms. Trilateration involves measuring the distance between the mobile device and multiple beacons using received signal strength indicators (RSSI). Intersecting the circles formed by each beacon's range, the system calculates the device's position which is reflected in the BLE beacon Indoor Positioning and Tracking System.
Benefits of BLE Beacon Indoor Positioning and Tracking
BLE as a low-cost, low-power consuming technology offers several benefits including:
1. BLE beacon systems offer high accuracy in indoor positioning, enabling precise location tracking and analytics.
2. BLE beacons are affordable and require minimal infrastructure, making them a cost-effective solution for various industries.
3. BLE beacon systems can be easily deployed and scaled to suit a wide range of indoor environments, from retail stores, warehouses to healthcare facilities and smarthomes and other applications. \
4. BLE beacon technology enables personalized experiences by providing location-based notifications, offers, and guidance to users.
5. BLE beacon systems generate valuable data on user movement patterns, dwell times, and preferences, helping businesses make informed decisions to enhance operations and customer engagement.
To conclude, BLE beacon indoor positioning and tracking systems offer a reliable and cost-effective solution for precise location tracking within indoor environments. Leveraging the power of BLE technology and integrating it with indoor positioning systems provides accurate positioning, personalized experiences, and valuable analytics.
- Last updated on Nov 06, 2023