What is Indoor GPS Technology


The benefit of using indoor GPS IoT technology for positioning is that it has ample and adequate satellite coverage and offers a free navigation signal. This article will discuss the technologies and application scenarios used for indoor positioning.

What is Indoor GPS Technology, Can GPS be used Indoors?

What is Indoor GPS Technology

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most used indoor positioning technology. In outdoor settings, the signal of a GPS receiver is weakened mainly by the effect of structures, making the positioning accuracy very low. Moreover, extracting navigation information and time data straight from a satellite broadcast like outdoors is difficult.

For you to attain a high sensitivity signal, it is essential to prolong the dwell time on all delay codes. The Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) technology can adequately solve this problem. Indoor GPS technology uses many correlators to look for potential delay codes and also assists in attaining fast positioning.

The benefit of using GPS for positioning is that it offers a free navigation signal and large-effective satellite coverage. Its drawbacks are that it cannot penetrate buildings, the signal for positioning becomes weak once it reaches the ground, and the locator terminal’s price is high.

Indoor GPS Working Principle

In AGPS, the basic idea is to fix various location GPS receivers in the position with a brilliant reception impact of satellite signals and uses the AGPS server to attain the terminal’s uneven position through terminal interaction. It then sends auxiliary information like ephemeris and clock needed by the terminal using a mobile network where the terminal conducts the measurements for GPS positioning.

Once the measurement is done, the terminal computes the location results solely or sends the measurement results back to the AGPS server. The server later computes and sends the outcomes back to the terminal. Simultaneously, the SP of the background attains location data for other service use cases.

The performance of a GPS satellite positioning system can be promptly enhanced by AGPS technology. It is widely used in mobile phones enabled with GPS as operating base stations can quickly trace it via mobile communications. The GPS uses radio signals from a satellite to locate people. However, signals can be weakened by multiple irregular structures, walls, or trees in poor signal conditions, like in a city. Under such conditions, a navigation device that is non-AGPS cannot locate as quickly as an AGPS system that uses carrier base station information for locating.

What is AGPS technology?

The AGPS technology comprises a mixture of GPS data for positioning technology in mobile stations and data for network base stations. AGPS can be in WCDMA, GSM/GPRS, and CDMA2000

When used on a network, the AGPS technology needs the addition of a module GPS receiver in the mobile phone, mobile antenna modification, a reference station for differential GPS, a different location server, and other devices to its mobile network. For enhancing the scheme’s localization efficiency in indoor settings like shielding of GPS signals, the scheme also offers to add a little measuring unit (LMU) like the EOTD scheme.

The AGPS working principle states that; the AGPS mobile uses a network to first transmit the address of its base station to the location server.

According to the mobile phone’s estimated location, the GPS auxiliary data linked to the position is transmitted to the mobile phone by the position server. This includes GPS ephemeris, pitch angle, and azimuth. The phone’s AGPS module attains the unique GPS signal in relation to the ancillary data to heighten the TTFF abilities of first lock time in a GPS signal.

Once the signal of the original GPS is received, the signal is demodulated by the mobile phone. After obtaining the unique GPS signal, the phone demodulates the signal thus computing pseudoran to the satellite from the mobile phone. A network is later used to transfer important data to the location server. Pseudoran is the distance affected by several errors in GPS.

The data of a GPS is processed by a location server in line with the pseudo-range data of a GPS and the secondary data from other positioning devices like the differential GPS reference station and approximates the mobile phone’s position. A location server transmits the phone’s location through a network to the application platform or the location gateway.

Advantages of the AGPS Technology

The main benefit of the AGPS solution is to obtain positioning accuracy. Its highest positioning accuracy is attained in open and outdoor areas. It has an accuracy of up to about 10 meters in the usual GPS working environs. Another benefit of the AGPS technique is that the first attainment of its signal typically takes just a few seconds, different from the first attainment of a GPS signal, which can take even 2 to 3 minutes.

Even if the positioning accuracy of the AGPS technology is high and has a short time acquisition for its first GPS signal, the technology also has some disadvantages. Currently, it isn’t easy to satisfactory solve the indoor positioning challenges. Moreover, the AGPS positioning implementation is needed to be conducted through numerous one-way network transmissions of up six. This is considered an essential overhead for operators. The main challenge with AGPS is that users find it hard to change their mobile phones to use mobile location services.

Compared to a general mobile phone, a phone enabled with AGPS has a particular additional problem with power consumption. It indirectly minimizes the phone’s standby time. Regarding efficiency, as the US government owns and controls the GPS, civilian GPS services can primarily be affected during astonishing times like the terrorism War, the Gulf War, etc.). This makes it more challenging for AGPS to work appropriately. Qualcomm and its subsidiary Snaptrack are the leading service providers of AGPS solutions. Besides, the AGPS technology can currently only be used in iDEN and CDMA network markets. However, it is anticipated that positioning technology will soon be used in GSM networks.

How to Use the AGPS Technology?

  1. Go to the Settings application, tap on Connections, then Access Point, and set up the settings and name of the GPRS. Once you set up, make sure you can use GPRS to access the Internet.
  2. Go to the Settings application, click on Connections, then Packet Data, and key in “GPRS” inside the access point as the input name.
  3. Go to settings, tap on General, then Location. The location method is based on a network and in-built with GPS.

Technologies Used in Indoor GPS

The rapid technological growth in wireless communications has primarily contributed to the emergence of wireless network technologies, like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, UWB, and ZigBee, all of which are widely used in homes, offices, and industries.

Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) Technology

The AGPS technology combines mobile station location technology, GPS data and network base station data. It is used mainly in WCDMA, GSM/GPRS, TD-SCDMA, and CDMA2000 networks. When used on a network, the AGPS technology needs the addition of a module GPS receiver in the mobile phone, mobile antenna modification, a reference station for differential GPS, a different location server, and other devices to its mobile network. To enhance the scheme’s localization efficiency in indoor settings like shielding of GPS signals, the scheme offers to add a little measuring unit (LMU) like the EOTD scheme.

Infrared Indoor Positioning Technology

The principle of this technology is that; For positioning, the marks of the infrared IR release modulated infrared rays that are received by the room’s optical sensors.

Ultrasonic Positioning Technology

The ultrasonic positioning technology uses the technique of reflection ranging via triangulation and other algorithms to know the location of an object. Thus, it transmits ultrasonic waves and receives the echo formed by the object measured in line with the time variance between the wave emitted and the echo to compute the measured distance. Some use the one-way ranging technique to measure the distance. A primary range finder and several transponders make the Ultrasonic positioning system. The range finder is positioned on the test object, beneath the computer command signal’s action, to the transponder’s static location with a radio signal frequency. The transponder receives radio signals simultaneously with the critical discharge ultrasonic range finder signal, the range finder and the transponder’s distance.

Bluetooth Technology

Bluetooth technology locates an object by measuring the strength of a signal. It is a wireless transmission technology with a short range that uses low power. In the indoor installation of the appropriate access point of a Bluetooth LAN, the multi-user basic network connection mode forms the basis of network configuration. It ensures that the access point of a Bluetooth LAN is always the piconet’s central device, which can be used to attain a user’s location data.

Radio Frequency Identification Technology

Radio frequencies (RF) are used in Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to exchange information, perform non-contact, two-way communication, and attain location and identification purposes. The action of this technology is of a short range, the longest being 10 meters. Nevertheless, it acquires data with a positioning accuracy down to a centimeter level in milliseconds. Also, its cost is low and has an extensive range of transmission.

Ultra Wide Band (UWB) Technology

This is the newest communication technology, which varies widely from the other traditional communication technologies. Rather than using carries like in the traditional communication systems, the ultra-wideband technology conveys information by sending and receiving narrow pulses of a magnitude less than a nanosecond. Thus, the UWB technology has a GHz bandwidth. This technology can be used for correct indoor positioning, for instance, robot motion tracking, locating soldiers on the battlefield, and many other applications.

The Wi-Fi Technology

The wireless Local Area network (WLAN) is a new platform for attaining data. This technology identifies various applications’ intricate large-scale localization, tracking, and monitoring. Here, the premise and basis of most applications is the localization of network nodes.

ZigBee Technology

ZigBee is a developing wireless network technology for short ranges and low rates used for indoor positioning. It is a cross between Bluetooth and RFID technologies. For accurate positioning, the ZigBee technology has the radio standard it uses to communicate and coordinate with thousands of tiny sensors.

Indoor positioning has various limitations, whether using GPS positioning technology, wireless sensor networks or any other positioning technique. It is anticipated that the combination of wireless positioning and satellite navigation technologies will form the indoor positioning technology trend soon. The biological blend of GPS positioning and wireless positioning technologies offers a full play to their benefits, which provides enhanced accuracy and covers a wide range to attain the correct positioning.

Disadvantages of Indoor GPS

Disadvantages of Indoor GPS

Indoor navigation is difficult

Underground tunnels and indoor spaces like shopping malls and city rail transit have inaccurate or no positioning signals for indoor navigation. This is because of the drift in satellite signals, untimely updates of the map POI data and many other circumstances. Its intrinsic weaknesses are persistent obstacles in indoor navigation, mainly with the broad advancement of satellite navigation applications.

Moreover, the worldwide navigation satellite system, like GPS, is at risk because of its circular orbit system (the altitude of an orbit is around 20,000 kilometers). Due to the high orbit altitude, a satellite signal’s signal is always weak when it reaches the ground. Moreover, the location that positions a signal is a key occurrence and a global challenge.

On the other hand, a satellite’s signal can be primarily affected by buildings, landforms, hills, vegetation, city canyons, and all types of coverage and obstructions, mostly indoors, under bridges, tunnels, and all shaded surroundings. This makes the signal of the satellite not enter and reach the location.

The intricacy of indoor environments

The indoor space environment is complex as more equipment is involved in positioning, and people’s requirements for positioning accuracy are much higher than outdoors. This applies mainly in some industries that involve high-speed mobile device locating. It makes the delay criteria of accuracy and positioning to be more demanding. In addition, indoor navigation application scenarios are fragmented, significantly increasing the cost of updating and maintaining indoor maps.

Indoor positioning is essential technology of coming artificial intelligence. It is anticipated to play an essential part in the impending era of artificial intelligence. The growth of the operative indoor positioning technology is a study hotspot in the academic and industrial sectors. Nevertheless, it is still hard to attain accurate, dependable, real-time indoor positioning because of the impact of intricate indoor settings, spatial arrangement and topology changeability.

Advantages and Benefits of Indoor GPS

Advantages and Benefits of Indoor GPS

Similarly to the GPS scheme, AGPS requires an extra GPS receiving module and a modified antenna in the mobile phone. Nonetheless, the mobile phone does not compute the location data. Still, it sends the location information data of a GPS to the mobile communication network, where the network’s location server calculates the location. Simultaneously, the mobile network is in line with the GPS secondary data reference network like the differential correction data, and the running state of a satellite is passed to the mobile phone from a database. It then realizes the estimated location and positioning information to a mobile phone, which quickly captures the GPS signals. In the first capture, time reduces significantly, usually with only a few seconds. The first capture time lasts 2-3 minutes, and the accuracy is only a few meters, unlike GPS, which has a higher accuracy measurement.

Advantages of AGPS over GPS

The primary benefit of the AGPS solution is its accuracy of positioning. While in open and outdoor areas, AGPS attains the highest positioning accuracy of up to 10 meters in the usual GPS working setting. Thus, the AGPS is far behind the GPS due to the weather and high-rise buildings in cities, which leads to instability of the received GPS signal. This results in a more or less inevitable deviation in positioning. Due to base station auxiliary positioning, the accuracy of positioning in AGPS is enhanced with an accuracy of about 10 meters.

Indoor GPS Application Examples

Application Examples of Indoor GPS

The organic combination of indoor positioning and GPS satellite positioning technologies

The integrated module and system planning of indoor and outdoor navigation is completed using multi-sensor data combined skills. The unified indoor and outdoor navigation blend is accomplished from the module’s upper to bottom level. Information is sent back via a carrier’s wide area cell (4G/5G), thus eradicating the need to deploy a different base station. It efficiently solves the challenges of inaccurate positioning, high pricing, multiple tools, and difficult swapping between outdoor and indoor in the placement of positioning systems in a wide area setting.

The internal and external switch effortlessly

The adaptive mode conversion in outdoor and indoor positioning can be attained by combining GPS and indoor positioning technologies. The construction cost can only be reduced effectively by minimizing the placement of base stations and beacons. A broad area setup is ideal to efficiently resolve the challenges of the Dachang positioning system, like inaccurate positioning, high pricing, multiple tools, and difficult swapping between outdoor and indoor deployments.

Some of the most well-known indoor GPS service companies are;

  • Google Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • HERE (Nokia Corp.)
  • Shopkick Inc.
  • Micello Inc.
  • Ekahau
  • AeroScout
  • HP Enterprise Services LLC
  • Zebra Technologies
  • Broadcom Corp
  • Aisle411 Inc.
  • Cisco Systems Inc.
  • CommScope Holding Company Inc.
  • Ericsson Inc.
  • FastMall
  • Microsoft Corp