Quick Start: Indoor Positioning Systems

Indoor positioning systems (IPS) enable locating the position of objects or people within buildings. Since GPS is unreliable in interior spaces because there is no visual contact with the GPS satellites, an IPS (indoor positioning system) must use other positioning methods. These include, for example, the common consumer standards Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), but also solutions based on Ultra-wideband (UWB) or passive RFID. infsoft's systems are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The first and most important step in the implementation of locating systems is the selection of the positioning method and technology.

How Does Indoor Positioning Work?

infsoft client-based and server-based indoor positioning

When it comes to localization within buildings, a distinction can be made between client-based and server-based positioning. Client-based localization enables determining the position directly on the end user's device (e. g. smartphone). In the case of server-based localization, positioning takes place on a server.

Indoor positioning via client

Client-based Positioning

Indoor positioning via client means that the position is determined directly via the end user device ("client" – usually a smartphone). This method requires an app. It is most often used for indoor navigation projects and wherever you need to communicate with the user.

  • Wi-Fi indoor positioning technology
  • The signal strengths of available Wi-Fi networks are analyzed and provide positioning that is accurate to 5-15 meters. Apple devices are excluded in this case.
    Learn more about indoor positioning with Wi-Fi.

  • Bluetooth Low Energy BLE (beacons) indoor positioning technology
  • The small, usually battery-operated, Bluetooth radio transmitter emits signals that the app uses to calculate a position that is accurate to 1-3 meters. Works with all operating systems.
    Learn more about indoor positioning with Bluetooth beacons.

infsoft comparison of different technologies for client-based indoor positioning

Indoor positioning via server

Server-based Positioning

Indoor positioning via server means that the position is determined via a server (infsoft LocAware platform®). This method does not require an app. Indoor positioning via server is frequently used for tracking objects and people, or when visitor and route analyses need to be generated.

  • infsoft Locator Nodes indoor positioning technology
  • infsoft Locator Nodes are modular hardware components, that can detect all Wi-Fi-capable end user devices and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons but do also provide various other sensors.
    Learn more about indoor positioning with infsoft Locator Nodes.

  • infsoft Locator Tags indoor positioning technology
  • infsoft Locator Tags are quite similar to infsoft Locator Nodes, but they are more flexible and perfectly suitable for tracking a few objects in large areas.
    Learn more about indoor positioning with infsoft Locator Tags.

  • Indoor positioning technology from third-party providers
  • If you are already using a system from a third-party provider such as Cisco, Xirrus or Aruba, then infsoft can set up interfaces for indoor positioning.

infsoft comparison of different technologies for server-based indoor positioning

infsoft Indoor Guide

Are you looking for the right solution for your use case? The infsoft Indoor Guide shows you suitable applications and positioning technologies. Try it now!

infsoft Indoor Positioning Guide


Other Materials on Indoor Positioning Systems

 Project procedure indoor positioning

Project Procedure

Where do I begin?
We take you through the project procedure step-by-step. From proof of concept to solution.

White paper about indoor positioning & services

White Paper

Download our free white paper here. It provides all the information for the ideal first step towards indoor positioning.

Examples of Use for Indoor Positioning

Examples of Use

Get to know more about the wide range of application possibilities in the field of Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation.

infsoft blog about indoor positioning


This is our blog with several use cases, insider tips, info graphics and exciting peaks into our daily work lives at infsoft.

to the info site indoornavigation.com


Indoornavigation.com is our info portal for indoor positioning and all things associated with it. Get informed now!

to the info site ultrawideband.io


Ultrawideband.io is our info portal about UWB. We explain the technology and answer FAQs.