Indoor Positioning-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Indoor Positioning Systems Using Infrared and Bluetooth Low Energy

Object/person positioning and navigation has many useful applications in emergency services, advertising and security. An inexpensive, easy to use wireless communication solution involving Infrared and Bluetooth Low Energy has applications in schools to track attendance, hospitals and home use.

Beacons in each room transmit a unique ID number via infrared light. A body-worn “badge” stores the unique ID number with an associated timestamp. Upon encountering a Bluetooth Low Energy enabled gateway, the “badge” transmits all data including inertial sensor data recorded at regular intervals. A Bluetooth Low Energy enabled gateway relays the data to the cloud, where the unique “beacon” ID number is translated into a real room name. The identity of the badge holder is not stored for privacy reasons. Devices can then connect to the cloud to find updated position information.

2013 Tech Showcase

Nathan Martin demonstrating the Indoor Positioning system

Outstanding Entry award for students Nathan Martin (MS SM '13) and Feng-Tso Sun (ECE Ph.D) and Bob Iannucci.

See the poster (PDF)

Current Status

The IR beacon network has been deployed and the prototype badge has been tested — receiving IR beacons and relaying them via Bluetooth Low Energy through mobile phones to the cloud. The next-generation badge is under development.

Faculty Researcher