29 April Technologies for Server-Based Indoor Positioning Compared: Wi-Fi vs. BLE vs. UWB vs. RFID 3 MIN READ April 29, 2021 By Gina Wurms general posts |WiFi|, |UWB|, |RFID|, |positioning technology|, |indoor tracking|, |Bluetooth| 0 Since GPS is not suited for indoor positioning, other positioning technologies are used here. In this blog post, we present the most common technologies, point out their pros and cons, and list common use cases. Real-time locating systems (RTLS) are used to automatically determine and track the location of objects or people in real time. RTLS can be used, for example, to trace pallets in warehouses, to locate medical equipment in a clinic, or to track people for security purposes. In a server-based localization system, signals from transmitter hardware or mobile devices are received by stationary receiver hardware. The data is then sent to a server and the position is calculated. The most common positioning technologies include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Ultra-wideband (UWB) and RFID. Wi-Fi Wi-Fi based positioning systems determine the location of devices with activated Wi-Fi (e.g. smartphones, tablets) and Wi-Fi tags. The accuracy of Wi-Fi for server-based indoor positioning varies from eight to 15 meters. The achievable positioning accuracy depends on conditions such as reflection in corridors and the shielding of signals from walls or the user's own body. Pros all Wi-Fi enabled devices can be tracked, even without logging into the Wi-Fi network under certain circumstances, the existing infrastructure can be used (e.g. Cisco DNA Spaces) Cons relatively inaccurate (8-15m) Use of randomized MAC addresses when devices are not connected to a Wi-Fi network high energy consumption of Wi-Fi tags Use recommendation Analysis of movement profiles (e.g. for events or in a shopping center). Relevant use case Tracking Visitor Flows in Stadiums Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons are small wireless radio transmitters that use Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit data. They are relatively inexpensive, can operate for up to five years or more on a button cell battery, and have a range of up to 70 meters indoors. Beacons come in a variety of shapes (tags, ISO cards, wristbands, etc.), are scalable and very portable. Accuracy is typically less than eight meters with Bluetooth 4. The new 5.1 version of the Bluetooth specification enables direction finding use cases and can locate assets with an accuracy of less than one meter (if a direct line of sight is given). Pros hardware is cost-effective and unobtrusive low energy consumption accuracy is sufficient for most applications Cons attenuations in the signal dispersion within buildings Use recommendation Beacons can be used for indoor tracking solutions in a variety of industries from industry to hospitals and offices. In addition to tracking assets, the technology can also be used to track people. Relevant use cases Inventory of Assets in an Office Building Cart and Wheelchair Tracking at an Airport Patient Wandering System for Dementia Sufferers in Nursing Homes Ultra-wideband (UWB) Ultra-wideband is a short-range radio technology. The positioning accuracy is less than 30 centimeters, which is significantly higher than what can be achieved using beacons or Wi-Fi. Differences in altitude can also be determined very accurately. Furthermore, very low latency times can be realized. Pros high accuracy accurate measurement of height differences low latency times almost interference-free with constant line of sight Cons cost-intensive shorter battery lifetime than BLE beacons Use recommendation Tracking solutions in industrial environments with high precision requirements and low number of assets. Relevant use cases Pallet Tracking in Logistics Workpiece Carrier Tracking RFID RFID uses radio waves to identify objects. Passive RFID technology only works in the vicinity of special RFID readers, which generate an energy field and activate the RFID tags. Information exchange can only take place when the reader and RFID tag are no more than one meter apart. The technology only allows localization at a specific point (where the reading unit is located). Pros low costs per asset no battery required Cons short range only providing a "point-in-time" location installation requires significant planning infrastructure can be expensive Use recommendation Tracking solutions with a large number of assets (e.g. in logistics, distribution and inventory management) or access control systems. Relevant use case Tracking of Disposables in a Laboratory Conclusion The choice of the most suitable technology depends on several factors. These include the (precision) requirements for the system, the conditions on site, the number of assets to be tracked, and the budget. We are happy to help you choose the right technology for your project. Contact us. Get the white paper for free Great introduction to the topic of indoor positioning Download Related Articles Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation Using Wi-Fi Positioning using GPS does not work reliably inside buildings as there is no visual contact with the GPS satellites. A good alternative is indoor positioning using Wi-Fi. An additional advantage compared to GPS is the possibility to determine the current floor level. Read More Techniques for Client-Based Indoor Positioning – GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and VLC Compared Techniques for client-based indoor positioning – GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and VLC compared - check out our infographic. Read More Indoor Navigation & Indoor Positioning Using Bluetooth Indoor navigation & indoor positioning using Bluetooth – learn more about the pros & cons. Read More Client-Based and Server-Based Indoor Positioning Client-based and server-based indoor positioning - what are the differences and what do you need for your project? Read More "Indoor GPS" - Techniques for Indoor Positioning Without Using GPS Techniques for indoor positioning without using GPS - learn more about Indoor GPS in our blog. Read More Client-Based Indoor Positioning Technologies Compared – 3 Alternatives to GPS Get the slides: Client based indoor positioning technologies compared – 3 alternatives to GPS. Read More Comments are closed.