How to get the 2D location of the LTE Beacon?

#1

It seems that the iOS and Android SDKs are both able to trilaterate and find the 2D location of the phone that they’re running on, by doing a scan for BLE signals coming from beacons mounted to walls.

It’s also possible to plug in to the Proximi.io API with Estimote or Kontakt.io API keys, to accomplish the same thing.

Both the Estimote mobile SDKs and Proximi.io APIs are calculating a position based on trilateration of RSSI values read by the phone.

However, is there any software that currently exists that can accomplish the same task for the Estimote LTE Beacons?

It would seem that you’d need to either write trilateration in JavaScript that runs on the LTE Beacon itself, since you can’t use the Estimote mobile SDKs, or send the RSSI values to Proximi.io or your own API for processing.

#2

Note: our Indoor Location SDKs don’t do trilateration, we’ve got some other tricks up our sleeves (;

Other than that, I think you’re exactly right. Being able to indoor-position the LTE Beacon might be useful sometimes, and the ways to do that are exactly what you said: put the indoor-positioning code on the beacon/micro-app itself, or just stream raw data to some cloud service so that it does the calculations instead.

Doing it on the beacon is probably more cost-effective when it comes to cellular data usage. In fact, I remember one my colleagues experimenting some time ago with putting some JavaScript trilateration library into their micro-app … I remember he struggled a bit with making it small enough to fit into the LTE Beacon’s memory (; Don’t remember/know what the actual results were, I’ll ask if I bump into him at the water-cooler.

For what it’s worth, most of the commercial deployments we’re seeing/assisting with right now use proximity-based/rough-grain approaches. That is, either the LTE Beacon is fixed in specific a place, and other beacons nearby are being detected in that specific area. Or, the LTE Beacon detects nearby beacons, and sends something like “looks like I’m somewhere near beacons 123 and 456” to Estimote Cloud. Most of the time, this is good enough, so we haven’t had a chance yet to dive deeper into the more fine-grained, (x,y) positioning of the LTE Beacon. (I can imagine that if there was a need like that, we’d probably just build it into the LTE Beacon’s firmware, and expose it to micro-apps via a JavaScript API.)