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Positioning mobile devices indoors

Hi,

We're planning on building a set of networked applications for persons in a large indoor facility.

The persons will be using the applications via smart phones, tablet computers and laptops and they'll connect to the network via WLAN.

Some of the applications will need to know the user's position within the facility with an estimated 5-10 meter accuracy.

Different technologies seem to be used for positioning mobile users indoors e.g. NFC, Bluetooth, RFID tags etc.

The problem seems to be that there isn't a technology that would work across vendors and different devices.

We were thinking about building our positioning solution on WLAN technology.

Is this a feasible approach?

Any practical experiences with this approach?

The idea was to build a custom positioning service that would gather data from connected client devices.

The positioning service could then be queried to learn to which access point a device with a particular IP or MAC address is connected to.

Knowing the geometry of the facility and where each AP is situated, you could then infer the client's approximate location.

We would need to be able to programmatically query the access points for a list of connected clients, along with the device's IP and MAC address.

Are there any access points that would have more advanced support for positioning use cases e.g. being able to tell each client's approximate distance from the AP?

marko

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