Hybrid Positioning for Smart Spaces: Proposal and Evaluation


Positioning capabilities have become essential in context-aware user services, which make easier daily activities and let the emergence of new business models in the trendy area of smart cities. Thanks to wireless connection capabilities of smart mobile devices and the proliferation of wireless attachment points in buildings, several positioning systems have appeared in the last years to provide indoor positioning and complement GPS for outdoors. Wi-Fi fingerprinting is one of the most remarkable approaches, although ongoing smart deployments in the area of smart cities can offer extra possibilities to exploit hybrid schemes, in which the final location takes into account different positioning sources. In this paper we propose a positioning system that leverages common infrastructure and services already present in smart spaces to enhance indoor positioning. Thus, GPS and WiFi are complemented with access control services (i.e., ID card) or Bluetooth Low Energy beaconing, to determine the user location within a smart space. Better position estimations can be calculated by hybridizing the positioning information coming from different technologies, and a handover mechanism between technologies or algorithms is used exploiting semantic information saved in fingerprints. The solution implemented is highly optimized by reducing tedious computation, by means of opportunistic selection of fingerprints and floor change detection, and a battery saving subsystem reduces power consumption by disabling non-needed technologies. The proposal has been showcased over a smart campus deployment to check its real operation and assess the positioning accuracy, experiencing the noticeable advantage of integrating technologies usually available in smart spaces and reaching an average real error of 4.62 m.

Applied Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 12, PP. 4083, DOI: 10.3390/app10124083