Wireless Triangulation

Pinpoint Assets Using Wireless Triangulation

Wireless Triangulation is a method that measures the distance and angle from two or more known points as a cross reference to pinpoint a location. These wireless access points can vary in type from Cell Towers to Wireless Routers, and beyond.

There are multiple methodologies that can be used to wirelessly triangulate a given location, one of which is called Time of Arrival (TOA)., which measures the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel from Point A to Point B. By measuring the TOA from multiple reference points, a device’s current location can be backwards calculated through trilateration (a form of triangulation).

Another method of wirelessly triangulating a location uses angles more than speed or distance, and is known as Angle of Arrival (AOA). This measures the angle that the signal comes from the source to determine where those lines intersect from multiple sources (formally called multilateration).

A more complex method of triangulation is RSSI, or Recieved Signal Strength Indicator. That’s a fancy description for measuring the perceived signal strength detected from a known wireless reference point. The location is calculated by comparing the received signal strength from multiple reference points, and determining the location with the strongest signal.

As the technology around wireless triangulation evolves, a number of techniques have, as well, helping make accurate positioning (and enhanced connectivity therewith) possible with wireless devices.  

So, if you are seeking a true, real-time device locator in both indoor and outdoor environments, Airgain has you covered. We will help you determine which method: signal-strength, time-of-flight and/or a combination of beacons, signal strength and dead-reckoning best suits your need. And then we can provide your solution and guide you with your build – or simply put it together and implement it for you. 

Wireless triangulation is becoming increasingly relevant to the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, as the ability to determine the location of connected devices is essential for many applications such as smart homes, wearable devices, and asset tracking. For example, in a smart home, wireless triangulation can be used to determine the location of a person within the house, allowing the house to adjust the temperature, lighting, and other settings based on the person’s location and known preferences. Similarly, in wearable devices, wireless triangulation can be used to track the location of a person.

When it comes to asset tracking, wireless triangulation can be used to track the location of a truck or shipping container or pallet and monitor its movement and/or condition. This can provide valuable information on delivery times, optimize routes, and improve logistics and supply chain management.

It should be noted that wireless triangulation is not the only method of determining the location of a device. Other methods, such as GPS and GNSS, can also be used to determine the location of a device from satellite signals, but wireless triangulation has several advantages over these methods. For example, wireless triangulation does not require line-of-sight with satellites and can work indoors, where GPS and GNSS signals may be weak or unable to penetrate the building.

In addition, wireless triangulation can be used to determine the location of a device even when it is not connected to a network, as the device does not need to actively transmit any data. This makes it suitable for tracking devices that are turned off or in areas with poor network coverage. Since the device doesn’t need to connect to network to use it’s signal for calculating location, this makes cellular-based asset trackers more reliable and consistent in some cases than GPS reliant devices.

Wireless triangulation is a cost-effective and accurate method of determining the location of a device that can also extend battery life of IoT devices since wireless triangulation uses less power than constantly needing to connect to distant satellites. Its relevance to the IoT industry will continue to grow as more and more IoT devices are deployed and the need for accurate location tracking increases.

As more IoT devices come online, they are going to generate vast amounts of data, and the accuracy and reliability of location tracking will become increasingly important. The industry will need to implement sophisticated algorithms and advanced signal processing techniques to extract relevant information and accurately determine the location of devices.

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