Localization or positioning is a well-known service nowadays. Almost everyone uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) when driving a car or looking for the right street. GPS is so popular that in modern smartphones there are already all navigation tools built-in: the GPS receiver and the map. However, the main disadvantage of GPS is loss of signal inside buildings or underground (in tunnels and so on).
Indoor localization is an important complement and an alternative to GPS. Unlike GPS, it doesn’t provide global coverage, but can be more accurate, efficient, and adaptive to local environments such as airports, metro stations, tunnels, and other indoor areas. Wireless LAN (WLAN) and Bluetooth beacon location fingerprinting is one of the well-known approaches that are used for indoor localization, and this technology is integrated into the TASSTA system.
TASSTA location data is based on both positioning systems (GPS) and indoor localization, and they complement each other.
The GPS portion is based on signals sent by GPS satellites. The more satellites a GPS receiver can find, the better the accuracy.
In a similar way to GPS satellites, TASSTA indoor localization requires WLAN hotspots, access points and Bluetooth beacons. TASSTA indoor localization is based on location fingerprints of existing environments.
The positioning algorithm makes snapshots of both commercial WLAN hotspots, private access points and Bluetooth beacons without needing registration or access to the data network. This creates the perfect add-on to regular GPS tracking, able to provide the positioning of users in multi-story buildings, accurate within a few meters.
Role of T.Flex in indoor localization
During normal day-to-day operations as a T.Flex user, you are moving about in an environment that has already been fingerprinted and analyzed. Therefore, you don't have to do anything to get the benefits of indoor localization.
However, T.Flex is used as the main tool during the final stages of the location fingerprinting process, for collecting measurements. The following procedure and tips are included here for personnel who perform the measurement collection. If you are not tasked with indoor localization configuration, you can safely disregard this information.
Collecting measurements is an important stage in indoor localization preparations. To perform the procedure, you need one mobile device with T.Flex installed. At this time, we recommend using T.Flex Android for the purpose, because T.Flex iOS doesn't yet have feature parity with it.
To collect measurements with T.Flex
- Log into T.Flex.
- Make sure wi-fi or Bluetooth, or both, and GPS are enabled on the device and accessible for the application.
- Go to the Indoor Localization menu.
- Select Training mode from the options.
- Select the level to collect measurements for.
- If necessary, select Change grid step from options (the default is 12 rows or 2 meters if the map size allows).
- Go to the collection point and select it on screen.
- Tap Start to begin collecting measurements.
- At least 5 measurements need to be collected before the Stop button appears. 10 to 15 measurements per point is recommended.
- If necessary, you can tap the Cancel button to discard collected measurements and return to point selection. Do this only if the device turns off, reboots or otherwise malfunctions during collection.
- Points that have saved data are green and always visible no matter the grid step. In the event of some mistake during collection, you can select a point with collected data and delete the data by selecting Discard not sent data from the options. This works only for data that has not yet been sent to the server.
- Repeat the collection process until all the required data has been collected.
- If necessary, use the Export not sent data action. It can be useful to have a copy of collected measurements. The copy will be saved locally. On an Android device, it goes to the /android/data/com.tassta.flex/files/IndoorTrainingExport directory. On iOS, the destination path can be specified. The resulting data can be sent by email or shared by other means.
Files are split so they don't exceed 500 measurements per file.
- When collection finishes, tap Send to send collected measurements to server. On Android, progress is displayed in chunks of 50. On iOS, a counter shows the number of requests sent to the server. Points that are available on the server are blue and always visible no matter the grid step.
- You can add additional measurements to both green and blue points. Measurements are added, not replaced.
- On Android devices, measurements are not deleted after being sent to the server and can be retrieved from the device if needed. To fully delete them, use the Clear sent data cache option while in Training mode.
- Use the Go to location option to return from Training mode.
|Notes about taking measurements:|