Geolocation precision and possibilities
There are many ways how to do geolocation and indoor location with Sigfox especially combining Sigfox with technologies like GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth.
GPS is not always the most suitable of those as GPS needs a very long fix time, clear sky above you and rather high power consumption. Most people think that using GPS they receive the same behaviour as they receive on their mobiles but this is not true as mobile phones use large lookup tables to speed up GPS fixes, GSM localisation, WiFI localisation, gyroscopes and magnetometers plus AI. And GPS can be easily scrambled/jammed.
So adding GPS to Sigfox device makes only sense when you can be sure the device sees the sky, doesn’t need many positions or provide large battery and you can afford the price of the device.
On the other hand is the Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service using just Sigfox messages and their strengths. No additional HW or processing is necessary. The price from Sigfox is reasonable for this service, where you get in the callback the approximate position. The accuracy depends on network density. From field testing we see average accuracy of around 1 km in Czech Republic. Big advantage is that there is no power penalty associated with it and the objects can be locate in deep indoor or in the wilderness. Anywhere where there is Sigfox coverage. The most useful is this when you need to know at whatever airport your luggage ended or wherever your goods are in factory, on the way, on the border, in stock or with customers.
SimplePack fully supports Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service and the modes Track me and Trace me are suitable for this kind of tracking. IOFrog and other platforms are able to visualise the location.
In the middle what regards cost, power consumption and precision it the WiFi tracking.
It is based on the principle of a adding a cheap WiFI module to Sigfox device and listening through WiFi which are the closest WiFi stations. Than it sends their IDs through Sigfox to worldwide databases or Google service or upcoming Sigfox Atlas WiFi service and the database/service returns the location.
It can be combined with a database of your WiFI stations in order to increase the accuracy or you can cheaply deploy more WiFi stations as beacons.(Currently a WiFI router costs under 10 USD).
Advantage of the this tracking is low cost, low power consumption, working indoors, For locations not covered by WiFi or the service it can be combined with classical Sigfox (Atlas) Geolocation service as a fallback.
Precision depends totally of the mode of deployment and quality of the WiFi database. In field testing it is between 20 and 150m.
SimplePack 3.0 Plus WiFi is the smallest and cheapest WiFi tracker in the market with exceptional radio performance and battery life featuring even more sensors such as precise temperature, shock/fall detection, light/opening sensor or reed contact.
We have also added a local HW embedded geofencing, when we tell the device which WiFi he must to see, and it the device gets out the range of those locally coded WiFi/beacons it sends an alert and gets switched to more frequent geolocation to locate the lost object.
Integrators are free to use a platform and database of their choice as due to smart firmware we support Google location, Sigfox Atlas WiFi service or any other database.
You can also use IOfrog platform for immediate demo or commercial visualisations and data processing.