Wifi Positioning for Indoor Tracking

WiFi Positioning Systems for Indoor Tracking

Accurately tracking assets indoors is a recurring pain-point in the telematics industry. GPS/GLONASS signals have trouble penetrating buildings; and when the device does not have a direct line to these signals, it malfunctions.

So, how do you manage indoor assets or assets that are frequently on the move between indoors and out?

WiFi Positioning Systems (WPS)

Two of our devices (The Yabby WiFi and The Falcon) feature WiFi Sniffing modules to track assets inside warehouses, factories, garages, basements, and other buildings where even the best GPS just doesn’t work.

So how does WiFi positioning work?

  • The WiFi Sniffing module on these devices scans for all WiFi access points in the vicinity.
  • The device does not actually connect to the WiFi networks, it simply explores which networks (access points) are available around it, and measures signal intensity
  • We also send the Cell ID of the tower that the device is connected to assist in the position algorithm.
  • This information is then used to triangulate a position – Easy!

WiFi vs GPS

  • GPS is more accurate but generally battles to get a fix indoors.
  • WiFi is great to get a location even when indoors.
  • WiFi is lower power – it only takes the device a few seconds to scan for WiFi access points, whereas GPS can take 30 seconds or longer for a cold start (we use GPS aiding data to speed this up, but GPS still uses more power on average).
  • WiFi will not get an accurate location if the device can’t find WiFi access points. So, if it is in a remote location, then positioning will be limited.

What about Accuracy?

The accuracy of WiFi Positioning is impressive, especially in urban areas with a lot of WiFi access points. Expect accuracy between 10m to 40m in most locations.

Devices with WiFi Positioning

The Yabby

The Yabby is our tiny, battery-powered tracking device, available with either a GPS/GLONASS module (Yabby GPS) for primarily outdoor tracking applications or WiFi Sniffing (Yabby WiFi) for indoor localization. Given the device’s compact size, The Yabby is perfect for tracking smaller assets as the device can be concealed easily.

The Falcon

The Falcon GPS + Sensor features both a WiFi Sniffing and GPS/GLONASS module, which allows for a combination of GPS and WiFi tracking for managing assets practically anywhere – indoors or out. If the Falcon can’t get a GPS fix in a certain amount of time, it switches to WiFi Sniffing to conserve power. The amount of time it waits to switch to WiFi can also be configured by users. The Falcon is a larger, more advanced tracking device, with multiple customizable inputs, outputs, an I2C interface, and can be hard-wired of battery-powered to meet almost any tracking application.

When to Use WiFi Positioning?

When indoors, traditional GPS devices will struggle to get a fix, which uses a substantial amount of power. This becomes a serious problem if the GPS is also battery-powered. Devices with WiFi sniffing modules will use less power when tracking assets indoors or tracking assets that frequently travel between indoors and out, such as:

  • Delivery Vehicles
  • Trailers
  • Refrigerated Trucks
  • Stock / Inventory on Palettes
  • Parcels
  • Beer Kegs
  • Bikes
  • And much more!

When Not to Use WiFi Positioning?

WiFi positioning isn’t needed when your asset has a strong GPS signal, and it does not work well in remote areas where there aren’t nearby WiFi networks. Substantial data charges can arise if the device is constantly failing to locate any nearby WiFi networks.

Related Devices

Take control of your data

Management

Securely configure, manage, and monitor Digital Matter devices remotely.

Learn more

Integration

Flexible integration options via Webhook, TCP or HTTP/HTTPS, Direct Integration or Data Splitting.

Learn more

Security

Military-level AES-256 Encryption to protect the integrity and confidentiality of your telematics data.

Learn more

Related Case Studies

Asset Tracking & Sensor Monitoring with Restotracker

Learn how Restotracker uses the Remora2 and Bluetooth® Low Energy to remotely track and monitor high value assets and critical sensor data.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Asset Tracking in Zimbabwe with EzyTrack

Founded in 2009 in Harare, Zimbabwe, Ezytrack understands the unique solutions local residents and businesses require to protect their assets.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Train Tracking & Speed Monitoring with the Gisborne City Vintage Railway

The Gisborne City Vintage Railway Society installed an Oyster2 to a carriage on the WA165, to publish real-time locations whilst out on excursions.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Increasing Safety and Visibility with LoRaWAN® and Meshed IoT

Established in 2015, Meshed IoT is providing innovative IoT solutions using the LoRaWAN® network to cities and industries throughout Australia.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Litter Tracking Solutions with RMIT

RMIT University in collaboration with Melbourne Water are on a mission: to educate their community about the environmental and financial implications of littering.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Where’s Julius?

To support WIRES, B Braun’s newest recruit Julius the Koala is visiting Vet Clinics and Institutions across the country to spread love and awareness for Australian Wildlife.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Pioneering IoT in Malaysia with Xperanti IoT

Digital Matter has partnered with Xperanti IoT, supplying over 11,000 Oyster Sigfox battery-powered GPS tracking devices for affordable asset tracking in Malaysia on the LPWAN Sigfox Network.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Concrete Mixer Tip Detection and Utilization with VolkerFitzpatrick

VolkerFitzpatrick required a robust battery-powered GPS tracking device that is capable of collecting date, GPS location, and tip detection data.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Digicore and Iridium Satellite Fallback has Snowy Hydro Covered

Digicore, a Melbourne-based telematics company specializes in IVMS solutions in the mining, transport, and government sectors.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Rhino 911 – GPS Tracking for Poaching Prevention

Rhino 911 is using Digital Matter's Oyster2 GPS device and Telematics Guru to help prevent poaching and habitat destruction in South Africa.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Bicycle Fleet Tracking with Bikes Make Life Better

Learn how Bikes Make Life Better is using the Oyster2 battery-powered GPS to track and monitor over 2,500 bicycles.

View Case Study
Related Case Studies

Improving Farm Safety and Management with LoRaWAN and Farmdeck

Outcomex is improving productivity and safety across rural Australia with LoRaWAN®, Digital Matter devices, and their own in-house application, Farmdeck.

View Case Study

How can we help you?