How does it work?
The Indoor Positioning System or IPS is an easy-to-use system that offers precise information about a user’s location within a complex facility. Where the GPS or Global Positioning System depends on signals received from 3 or 4 of the 32 satellites in orbit around the Earth, the Consui-IPS makes its calculations solely based on the information provided by iBeacons. These are small electronic devices designed by Apple, but produced by Consui, that send a Bluetooth signal every 100 milliseconds, to be picked up by smartphones in the vicinity. This information can then be used in any mobile application linked to servers on the Internet.
Generally speaking, the system consists of three parts: first, there are the iBeacons, which emit their info on Bluetooth LE. Second, there are the applications downloadable on the smartphones and tablets of visitors, passengers, customers or patients who then pick up and forward that info, and finally the connection must be made to the servers, which are to be found in the cloud and are taking care of the managing of all the info, to store it and transform it into useful information for the visitor, passenger, customer or patient.
In 2013, Apple has released a new device: the iBeacon. The iBeacon sends a signal every 100 ms on Bluetooth. That signal can then be picked up by a Bluetooth receiver such as a smartphone.
It is perfectly possible to program these chip sets with own software so that applications respond to own assignments. The device will then no longer be a real iBeacon, but can have a performance that is even higher than what the original standard of iBeacon permits.
At CONSUI Ltd. we have IPS beacons, that come in a professional housing, are weather resistant, have a battery life of 7 years and can send a signal within a range of up to 150 meters.
As an example, a visitor to an airport could well previously have downloaded the IPS application on his or her smartphone.
Immediately upon arrival at the airport, the IPS application will then detect one of the many iBeacons in the facility to consequently send the data to the IPS Servers.
From that moment on, the mobile application will be able to ‘accompany’ or ‘accommodate’ the passenger to the gate where the flight departs.
When detecting that the passenger loses too much time at the tax-free shopping, the application can send out a warning and even actively guide the passenger towards the departure gate.
Although smartphones have become quite fast, we must not overestimate their processing power.
By using servers, we can choose where to perform certain operations. Triangulation calculations for locating are better done on the server.
The server also knows where the beacons from which a signal is received, are located in relation to the smartphone.
The server calculates the position and sends this information to the application on the smartphone, that then will be able to calculate the path to follow to a certain destination or the time needed to get to the departure gate at an airport.
Consui Ltd. can provide multiple types of beacon, adapted to the circumstances. As an example, we provide the specifications of an in-house built iBeacon :
- Long range: up to 200 metres according to the antenna
- Measurements: 95 x 52 x 28 (mm).
- Finishing: industrial ABS black brilliant, IP65 waterproof, with mounting space for bolts and screws up to M6 or for belts.
- Adjustment of the power (-40db à + 4db).
- Frequency control of broadcast (> = 20ms).
- Arrangement of the proximityUUID, minor, major.
- iBeacon, secured and need for identification to change parameter
- Antenna 2.4 G 8dBi SMA male right angle bluetooth signal amplifier
- Gain: 8dBi
- Frequency: 2400-2500 MHz
- Direction: Omnidirectional
- Impedance: 50 Ohm
- Connector: SMA male
- Length: 16 cm
At Consui Ltd. our servers calculate the position and send this information to the application on the smartphone, that then will be able to calculate the path to follow to a certain destination, all based on the information received from the in-house developed iBeacons.
Of course, the Consui Ltd. servers are part of a server farm and are equipped with all hard- en software to protect your valuable data and to guarantee the service level required by your applications.
For all these reasons, our servers come with these specifications :
- Cloud application
- SAAS (software as a service)
- High Availability
- Disaster Recovery
- Database provided by Oracle Services
- Application servers provided by Amazon Web Services
To maximize the profit of an IPS, Consui Ltd. develops tailor made applications for the consumer, that make use of all the data received from the iBeacons.
Consui Ltd. can design and develop such applications to run swiftly on any platform (smartphone, tablet or PC) and under any Operating System (Linux, Windows, iPhone or Android). All applications are downloadable via GooglePlay or Apple Store, in a 32 or 64 bit version.
Consui Ltd. also has the technical ability and experience to integrate the advantages of an IPS into your existing applications.
Finally, Consui Ltd. can develop and design a second application for the facility manager to monitor the activities of the visitors, patients or consumers and a third separate online application that can be used by the financial or sales department for marketing purposes.