App-Based Indoor Mobility Detection

The new paper titled A Mobile App-based Indoor Mobility Detection Approach using Bluetooth Signal Strength (PDF) by Muztaba Fuad, Anthony Smith and Debzani Deb from Winston-Salem State University, explores the development and application of a novel system for detecting indoor mobility patterns using the Bluetooth signal strength from mobile devices. This research is significant for its potential real-world applications, particularly in optimising indoor layouts for efficiency.

The research underscores the limitations of GPS in indoor settings, necessitating alternative localisation techniques such as Bluetooth for indoor mobility detection. The study is motivated by the potential efficiency improvements in industries like healthcare, where space optimisation can significantly enhance operational efficiency and patient care.

The approach uses a mobile application to collect Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) data to determine paths taken by mobile devices within indoor spaces. The system comprises a vectorised algorithm for path determination, highlighting its low-cost and ease of implementation advantages. The methodology faced challenges related to software system creation, data collection and mobility detection. Despite these, the study demonstrates that Bluetooth RSSI data can effectively determine indoor paths with reasonable accuracy.

Experiments conducted in controlled indoor environments validated the system’s ability to detect mobility patterns accurately. Parameters such as data aggregation methods and normalisation significantly impacted the accuracy of detected paths. The study’s findings indicate that the proposed approach can effectively map indoor mobility without specialised hardware, relying solely on mobile devices and a custom application.

The authors conclude that while the system presents a promising solution for indoor mobility detection using Bluetooth RSSI, further research is necessary to improve accuracy and applicability in real-world scenarios. Future work will explore the impact of varying the number of stationary devices and the distance between them on detection accuracy. Additionally, real-world testing in clinical settings is planned to validate the approach’s effectiveness in operational environments.

Construction Worker Analysis Using Beacons

A new paper, authored by Mohammadali Khazen, Mazdak Nik-Bakht, and Osama Moselhi, introduces an innovative system for indoor construction sites, designed to simultaneously track workers’ locations, body orientations, and productivity states. The system, which integrates Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) data with a 4-Dimensional Building Information Model (BIM), employs three modules: workspace discovery, body orientation detection and productivity state identification.

The workspace discovery module maps workers’ locations onto the BIM, enhancing workspace management. The body orientation module, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, identifies workers’ field of view, while the productivity state module leverages accelerometer data from body-mounted beacons to classify workers’ activities into direct work, support work, or idle states.

Experimental results demonstrate the system’s efficacy in laboratory settings, with orientation detection showing a mean error of less than 30° over eight minutes and productivity state identification achieving an average error of 14% and a maximum of 20%. These findings underscore the system’s potential to improve on-site management by providing real-time insights into workers’ activities, thereby addressing the limitations of manual observation methods.

The integration of RTLS with BIM and the innovative use of sensor data for orientation and activity classification represents a significant advancement in the field of construction site management, offering a promising tool for enhancing productivity and safety on indoor construction projects.

Improving Bluetooth Fingerprinting Using Machine Learning

A new paper titled “Augmentation of Fingerprints for Indoor BLE Localization Using Conditional GANs” by Suhardi Azliy Junoh and Jae-Young Pyun, explores the development of a data-augmentation method for enhancing the accuracy of indoor localisation systems that use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) fingerprinting.

Bluetooth fingerprinting is a technique used to identify and track devices based on the unique characteristics of the Bluetooth signal, such as hardware addresses and signal strength, at specific locations.

The primary challenge addressed is the labour-intensive and expensive nature of traditional site surveys required for collecting Bluetooth fingerprints. The authors propose a novel approach that employs a Conditional Generative Adversarial Network with Long Short-Term Memory (CGAN-LSTM) to generate high-quality synthetic fingerprint data. This method aims to complement existing fingerprint databases, thereby reducing the need for extensive manual site surveys.

The research found that augmenting the fingerprint database using the CGAN-LSTM model significantly improved localisation accuracy. In experimental evaluations, the proposed data augmentation framework increased the average localization accuracy by 15.74% compared to fingerprinting methods without data augmentation. Moreover, when compared to linear interpolation, inverse distance weighting, and Gaussian process regression, the proposed CGAN-LSTM approach demonstrated an average accuracy improvement ranging from 1.84% to 14.04%, achieving average accuracies of 1.065 and 1.956 meters in two different indoor environments. These results underline the effectiveness of the CGAN-LSTM model in capturing the complex spatial and temporal patterns of BLE signals, making it a promising solution for indoor localisation challenges.

The study contributes significantly to the field by demonstrating how synthetic data can enhance the performance of fingerprint-based localisation systems in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The authors suggest that this approach could alleviate the burdensome demands of manual site surveys, offering a viable solution for improving the accuracy of BLE-based indoor localisation while minimizing resource expenditure.

Apple AirTag and Samsung SmartTag Security

The new paper Securing the Invisible Thread: A Comprehensive Analysis of BLE Tracker Security in Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags by Hosam Alamleh, Michael Gogarty, David Ruddell, and Ali Abdullah S. AlQahtani, looks into the security of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) trackers, particularly Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags. The research identifies a broad range of attack vectors, including physical tampering, firmware exploitation, signal spoofing and cloud-related vulnerabilities. It examines the security measures and cryptographic methods used in these devices, revealing that while they provide considerable utility, they also introduce significant security risks.

Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags differ in their approach to security and privacy. Apple prioritises user privacy, leading to authentication challenges and successful AirTag spoofing instances. Samsung’s design aims to prevent beacon spoofing but raises concerns about cloud security and privacy. The study highlights the trade-off between battery life and security in the design of Bluetooth trackers, noting the absence of secure boot processes as a vulnerability.

The paper concludes that future developments in Bluetooth tracking technology will likely focus on enhancing security features. This is crucial as these devices become more integrated into the IoT ecosystem and subject to evolving privacy regulations. The research underscores the importance of addressing the security challenges presented by BLE trackers to balance functionality and security in next-generation systems.

What are Bluetooth Tunnel Beacons?

This is a feature in Google Maps on Android that improves navigation through tunnels, addressing the long-standing challenge of maintaining accurate location tracking when GPS signals falter.

Historically, tunnels have posed a significant challenge for digital navigation tools, primarily due to the inability of GPS signals to penetrate the thick layers of earth and concrete. This often results in a loss of real-time location tracking. However, Google Maps has improved the situation through the introduction of Bluetooth tunnel beacons, a feature that uses the power of Bluetooth technology to offer an unprecedented level of location accuracy in subterranean environments.

Bluetooth tunnel beacons operate by emitting signals that are received by a user’s smartphone, providing precise location data to the device. This feature, using technology already implemented by Google-owned Waze utilises these signals in conjunction with the device’s mobile connectivity. Together, they deliver navigation assistance, mirroring the capabilities of a traditional GPS connection.

The feature appears under Settings > Navigation Settings and under the ‘Driving Options’ section near the bottom. The feature is disabled by default, and is described as: ‘Scan for Bluetooth tunnel beacons to improve location accuracy in tunnels’.

The effectiveness of Bluetooth tunnel beacons, however, depends on the presence of these beacons within tunnels. Waze has already installed these beacons in several major cities around the world, such as New York City, Chicago, Boston, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Brussels.

Indoor Locating Using Beacons in Nursing Care

The new paper Relabeling for Indoor Localization Using Stationary Beacons in Nursing Care Facilities by Christina Garcia and Sozo Inoue from the Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan, presents a study on enhancing machine learning for indoor localisation in caregiving, specifically in nursing homes, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology.

The study addresses the challenge of limited data available for training machine learning models in indoor localisation, which is critical for monitoring staff-to-patient assistance and managing workload in caregiving environments. The authors propose a data augmentation method that repurposes the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) from various beacons by re-labeling them to locations with fewer data samples, thus resolving data imbalances. This method uses standard deviation and Kullback–Leibler divergence to measure signal patterns and find matching beacons for re-labeling. Two variations of re-labeling are implemented: full and partial matching.

The performance of this method is evaluated using a real-world dataset collected over five days in a nursing care facility equipped with 25 Bluetooth beacons.

Overall, the study highlights the effectiveness of the proposed re-labelling method in enhancing indoor localisation accuracy in nursing care facilities, providing a valuable contribution to the field of caregiving and workload management.

Improved RSSI Indoor Localisation Using AI Algorithms

The article titled Improved RSSI Indoor Localization in IoT Systems with Machine Learning Algorithms by Ruvan Abeysekera and Ruvan Abeysekera focuses on enhancing indoor localisation in Internet of Things (IoT) systems using AI machine learning algorithms. The paper addresses the limitations of GPS in indoor environments and explores the use of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) nodes and Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) values for more accurate localisation.

GPS is ineffective indoors so the paper emphasises the need for alternative methods for indoor localisation, which is crucial for various applications like smart cities, transportation and emergency services.

The study uses machine learning algorithms to process RSSI data collected from Bluetooth nodes in complex indoor environments. Algorithms like K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Support Vector Machine (SVM, and Feed Forward Neural Networks (FFNN) are used, achieving accuracies of approximately 85%, 84%, and 76% respectively.

The RSSI data is also processed using techniques like weighted least-squares method and moving average filters. The paper also discusses the importance of hyperparameter tuning in improving the performance of the machine learning models.

The research claims to provide significant advancement in indoor localisation, highlighting the potential of machine learning in overcoming the limitations of traditional GPS-based systems in indoor environments.

Simple Indoor iBeacon Positioning Method

New research Using iBeacon Components to Design and Fabricate Low-energy and Simple Indoor Positioning Method (PDF) focuses on developing an effective indoor positioning system using iBeacon. The authors propose an enhanced triangulation technique using signal strength signatures for improved indoor positioning precision.

This system integrates a ‘blind’ device and multiple base stations using iBeacon components to form virtual digital electronic fences, effectively receiving signals from moving devices or tags in a targeted area. The proposed method divides the positioning area into rectangular or triangular subareas and establishes a loss value database for improved location estimation.

The system shows high accuracy, with an average error of less than 0.5 m in the worst-case scenario, making it suitable for various environments. The paper covers the architecture of the system, development phases and experimental results demonstrating the system’s effectiveness. The research offers significant insights into low-cost, high-precision indoor positioning methods suitable for diverse applications such as healthcare, smart cities, and industrial settings.

Novel iBeacon Localisation Algorithm Modelling

Recent research A Novel Optimized iBeacon Localization Algorithm Modeling by Jiajia Shi et al, addresses the challenges in achieving high accuracy in indoor object localisation or tracking using iBeacon systems. These systems, which use Bluetooth sensors, are appealing due to their low cost and ease of setup but there can be challenges with accuracy and they can sometimes be susceptible to interference and environmental noise.

To overcome these challenges, the study focuses on developing error modeling algorithms for signal calibration, uncertainty reduction and noise elimination. The novel approach is based on the Curve Fitted Kalman Filter (CFKF) algorithms. The research demonstrates that the CFKF algorithms significantly improve the accuracy and precision of iBeacon localisation.

The paper discusses the limitations of current indoor localisation technologies, including the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) method, which is affected by multipath fading in indoor environments.

The authors propose a novel CFKF error modelling approach to enhance the estimation accuracy of iBeacon systems in field experiments. This approach includes a developed Kalman Filter (KF) state estimate algorithm based on the modified Least Squares Algorithm (LSA), a system calibration process for the RSSI and estimated distance and the CFKF error modelling for improved accuracy.

An Enhanced Triangulation Technique

Researchers from universities in Taiwan have developed a simple Bluetooth low-energy indoor positioning method using iBeacon components. The system aims to be lightweight, low-cost, and highly precise. The paper, Using iBeacon Components to Design and Fabricate Low-energy and Simple Indoor Positioning Method (PDF), introduces an enhanced triangulation technique using strength signatures of transmitted signals to improve positioning precision in planar locations.

The physical system consists of an observation (they call blind) device and multiple base stations using iBeacon components. These base stations can form virtual digital electronic fences and receive signals from blind devices, such as wearable devices or equipment tags. The positioning area is divided into rectangular or triangular subareas and the location of a blind device can be accurately located in real time using the measured strength of received signals and topology analysis.

The proposed method has an average error of less than 0.5 meters in the worst scenario and can be easily used in various environments. It integrates an STSS database and a triangulation method by evaluating the power values of received directional signals. Compared to traditional triangulation technologies, this method offers better positioning accuracy with simpler implementation procedures, reducing the overall cost of deployment.

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