Accurate Indoor Device Location with Beacons
Proximity location is a fundamental feature of many IoT applications. As long as a receiver has a clear unobstructed view of four satellites in the sky, GPS provides accuracy down to two meters. However, if the GPS receiver loses view of the sky, especially indoors, what can be done? Jim McKeeth says the solution is to employ Bluetooth LE advertisements of relative signal strength as a proximity beacon. Once there are three or more beacons in fixed locations, a smart device within range can triangulate at the centimeter scale for accurate locations—and works indoors. Jim explains the technical details of interacting with beacons, and how they work for proximity and triangulated location. He discusses beacon use cases, both real world and theoretical. See when to use proximity vs. location triangulation. Explore the basics of calibration and triangulation, including some libraries and practices to aid in the process. Learn through hands-on examples of using beacons with calculations of the number of beacons necessary to cover a given area.