Start Testing Yabby WiFi Location Sniffing
Our new Yabby cellular tracking devices are available in two versions:
- GPS location
- WiFi “sniffing” location
The Yabby is too small for us to put both on there at the same time – but this is coming in the Falcon shortly.
The concept here is that the device scans for all WiFi access points in its vicinity and then sends this list up to the server for processing. The device does not actually need to connect on to any WiFi network for this to work – it is simply seeing which networks (access points) are available around it, and the signal strength from each of the access points. We also send the Cell ID of the tower that the device is connected to, as this can assist in the position algorithm.
Wifi Location vs GPS?
- GPS is more accurate but generally battles to get a fix indoors
- WiFi is great to get a location even when indoors, in a basement, garage, etc
- 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 see some WiFi access points – so if it’s in the middle of the bush then the position will be limited to knowing which cell tower the device was connected to
In our testing, the accuracy of the device is impressive, especially in urban areas where there are lots of WiFi access points. Expect accuracy of 10m to 40m, but of course, it can be worse than this sometimes. An accuracy estimate is supplied in the data to give you an idea.
When would you use it?
If you want Asset Location and the asset is often indoors or will not have a decent GPS signal, and you want the batteries to last for as long as possible.
2G and 4G
The Yabby WiFi is available in 2G and 4G versions. The 4G version uses LTE-CATM1 and NB-IoT technology so check if you have a capable network in your country. One of the huge benefits of the 4G version is the lower power used – we are seeing 2 to 3 times battery life compared to 3G technology.
Digital Matter is a Google Enterprise customer and we make use of the Google APIs to get a location and position accuracy estimate from the WiFi and Cell ID data. This is now available in a beta form within Telematics Guru for you to start testing with.
3rd Party Systems
The device record fields have been published that contain the MAC address and other relevant information, so if you are running your own application software then you can use this data to perform your own location look-ups via Google, Here Maps, or other providers.