I spent a lot of 2017 working with Showrooms and Retail stores, implementing connected systems for value-added applications like Dynamic Visual Merchandising and Automated Energy Saving.

During this time, I had the opportunity of developing a Local Positioning System that could track any indoor tagged object with an accuracy of 40 cm.

I used some open source tools and developed the positioning system along with a GUI that showed the real-time location of the tagged object over a layout of the indoor space.


Locating a Tag

The System contained:

  • 3 or more Stations
  • 1 or more Tags (Object to be tracked)

The Stations are RF signal transmitters. In this case the System used an Ultra-Wide Band standard.

I used 3 Stations, positioned in distant parts of the Room. These continuously transmitted an RF signal that was received by the Tag. The Tag was connected to the WiFi through an ESP8266.

The Tag continuously received the RF Signals from the Stations and recorded each of their signal strengths.

The Tag then calculated its distance from each of the Stations and applied a trilateration algorithm to calculate its most probable position with respect to the Stations.

The Tag then broadcasted this position data on an MQTT Topic every half second, via the ESP8266.

The Client Web-Browser Application received the MQTT position of the Tag over WiFi and displayed it on the GUI along with the positions of the Stations, over the Layout of the space.

So, the tag located itself based on the calculated distance from the fixed Stations in the Room, and sent its real-time position to a dynamic GUI.

I am now working on value-added applications of this in Retail

The Stations

The Tag

Locating the Tag

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  • Pune (MH), India