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Award Winning Android Smartphone Geolocation Technology

In today’s society, there is an increasing need for the development of systems and algorithms capable of indoor positioning and tracking. The massive availability of mobile devices combined with the fact that people tend to spend most of their time in indoor environments, has created the need for “smart” electronic systems capable of processing and transmitting information within buildings. Although satellite-based positioning, e.g. Global Positioning System (GPS), achieves high levels of accuracy outdoors, it is not applicable in urban canyons or inside buildings due to the severe attenuation or blockage of satellite signals. This has motivated the development of indoor positioning algorithms that rely on the existing wireless network infrastructure, to track individuals and assets, detect possible events, as well as enable autonomous robot navigation.

The designed system by the KIOS Research Center, Department of Computer Science, and Cywee Ltd. (Taiwan) combines a multitude of readily available data on modern commercial smartphones, including signal strength observations from the surrounding Wi-Fi hotspots and readings from the built-in inertial sensors (i.e., accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), to deliver accurate indoor geolocation information. This Android Smartphone Geolocation Technology can assist with the location of medical equipment in hospitals during an emergency. It can also be used in museums or exhibitions, to help visitors locate the position of particular exhibits, whilst simultaneously accessing the relevant audio descriptions.

In this demo, an Android smartphone application displays user’s location on top of a digital floor plan map and tracks his/her trajectory reliably while walking around inside a building. This demonstrated technology has won several prizes the most recent being a competitive prize from Microsoft Research (USA). Please click here to view the demonstration.