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  • Team Deeyook

What Is Wi-Fi? How it Works with RTLS

Updated: May 5

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi refers to a wireless technology that enables mobile and stationary devices (smartphones, tablets, personal computers, IoT gadgets, etc.) to connect to local networks and the Internet, often for free. The term Wi-Fi is a successful marketing trademark, invented by Wi-Fi Alliance, to brand the IEEE802.11 standard that engineers call Wireless LAN.

How Does Wi-Fi Work?

Wi-Fi Access Points (AP) mediate data between wired local networks and wireless Wi-Fi enabled devices in order to connect the local devices to the Internet. Each connected device selects exactly one AP to associate with, which may require certain credentials to provide the connection. Unlike cellular Internet connections, Wi-Fi traverses through a local network (e.g. Enterprise, office, home), and the traffic never leaves the local network, such as when sending data to printers, logging IP camera footage on premise, communicating with Enterprise servers within an office, etc.

Can Wi-Fi be used for Real-Time Location Systems?

Yes, the received wireless signal is indicative of device location. RTLS can be implemented with sophisticated analysis of Wi-Fi signals, however these  implementations vary greatly with the exploited physical sensitivity to location. Some signals, but not all, can be sensitive to the round-trip propagation time. The physics exploited draws the distinction in performance between competing implementations given the very same signals.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Wi-Fi for RTLS?

Pros: both indoor and outdoor coverage, inherent physical potential for accuracy given the local nature of the protocol (<100m reach) and given the large free bandwidth worldwide, future proof protocol, difficult to spoof, very low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in cases where Wi-Fi connectivity is required.

Cons: Degradation in cases where the Wi-Fi AP infrastructure in the service area is flimsy, may consume more power in some methods of operation e.g. when general Wi-Fi connectivity itself is superfluous.

How Does Deeyook Use Wi-Fi?

Deeyook uniquely exploits interference patterns all pre-existing Wi-Fi APs create inherently, to find the direction of Deeyook enabled devices. Given directions, involved algorithms predict the physical location of individual enabled devices, and communicate their global coordinates, in a lingua franca such as WGS84, to existing location based applications e.g., Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, IoTConnect etc.



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