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Apr 02

ipsGPS (Global Positioning System) is a well known technology used for tracking and navigating. Everyone that have used GPS knows that the signal is blocked when you are inside a house, in a garage or surrounded with tall buildings. IPS (Indoor Positioning System) is a technology used for positioning were GPS can not be used. The most common technologies for IPS are radio, infrared or ultrasound signals.

Lets have a quick look at the three different IPS technologies.

Radio

IPS based on radio signals can use WLAN or Wi-FI. Advantages using this: Low cost, exists a lot of places and covers large areas and could work across multiple buildings. The disadvantage is low accuracy.

RFID can also be used, higher costs than WLAN or Wi-Fi but this is more accurate. But still with RFID it’s hard to separate the rooms in a building since the radio signals travels through the walls. The radio signal also reflects off metallic or ceramic objects and can be picked up by multiple sensors (earlier post about RFID/EPC).

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is picked up by microphones and the short wavelength ensures that the signal stays in the room. This can be used to accurately tell if a object is in a specific room of the building.

Infrared

Most known for heat seeking or infrared homing (used by passive missile guidance systems). Many objects such as people, vehicle engines and aircraft generate and retain heat,and as such, are especially visible in the infra-red wavelengths of light compared to objects in the background.

RFID based IPS

RFID based IPS

Ultrasound based IPS

Ultrasound based IPS

Sonitor Technologies AS are working with Ultrasound based IPS and are shaping the sensitivity on the detectors so they can pick up specific signals. Sonitor have installed their solutions in several hospitals to identify and track doctors and patients.

Ultrasound based IPS have a tendency to overlook pieces of equipment when the number of items in a room grows large. Therefore some hybrid Ultrasound/RFID  IPS have been tested. These systems combines the best of RFID and Ultrasound.

I would really like to do a research project on this technology combining RFID, Ultrasound and mobile devices. If you have an idea for a cool research project case please leave a comment on it.

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2 Comments to “Ultrasound/RFID based IPS”

  1. Johnny B says:

    Cool! You can make a guidance/navigation system for large buildings. When you enter the building you pick up a small sender and pairs it with your phone where you have downloaded an application. The application shows were you are in the building and maybe it can guide you to the places you want/need to go. It would be cool if you were able to also track your friends or children. This would be perfect when you are in a crowded mall (like Mall Of America) and can’t find your favourite store or wonders how to get back to your friends if you split up for a while. Go for it:)

  2. That’s a good idea Johnny B. Would be nice to know were you are and were to go when you are inside large public buildings.

3 Pingbacks to “Ultrasound/RFID based IPS”

  1. […] Blog about Technology, Mobility and Software Development Methodology put an intriguing blog post on Ultrasound/RFID based IPSHere’s a quick excerptGPS (Global Positioning System) is a well known technology used for tracking and navigating. Everyone that have used GPS knows that the signal is blocked when you are inside a house, in a garage or surrounded with tall buildings. IPS (Indoor Positioning System) is a technology used for positioning were GPS can not be used. The most common technologies for IPS are radio, infrared or ultrasound signals.Lets have a quick look at the three different IPS technologies.RadioIPS based on radio signals c […]

  2. […] can create apprehension in the strongest of persons. The fact that a doctor has advised medicalUltrasound/RFID based IPSGPS (Global Positioning System) is a well known technology used for tracking and navigating. […]

  3. […] article about the current use of RFID/EPC for product identification. And another one, which shows how to use RFID as an indoor positioning system (IPS). Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

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