GB2522892A - Method and system for determining spatial position of receiving device - Google Patents

Method and system for determining spatial position of receiving device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2522892A
GB2522892A GB1402195.0A GB201402195A GB2522892A GB 2522892 A GB2522892 A GB 2522892A GB 201402195 A GB201402195 A GB 201402195A GB 2522892 A GB2522892 A GB 2522892A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
receiving device
wireless
transmitting
plurality
transmitting antennae
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GB1402195.0A
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GB201402195D0 (en
Inventor
Tuomas Ilola
Mikko Virkkila
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NIMBLE DEVICES Oy
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NIMBLE DEVICES Oy
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Priority to GB1402195.0A priority Critical patent/GB2522892A/en
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Publication of GB2522892A publication Critical patent/GB2522892A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S1/00Beacons or beacon systems transmitting signals having a characteristic or characteristics capable of being detected by non-directional receivers and defining directions, positions, or position lines fixed relatively to the beacon transmitters; Receivers co-operating therewith
    • G01S1/02Beacons or beacon systems transmitting signals having a characteristic or characteristics capable of being detected by non-directional receivers and defining directions, positions, or position lines fixed relatively to the beacon transmitters; Receivers co-operating therewith using radio waves
    • G01S1/08Systems for determining direction or position line
    • G01S1/10Systems for determining direction or position line using amplitude comparison of signals transmitted sequentially from antennas or antenna systems having differently-oriented overlapping directivity characteristics, e.g. equi-signal A-N type
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S1/00Beacons or beacon systems transmitting signals having a characteristic or characteristics capable of being detected by non-directional receivers and defining directions, positions, or position lines fixed relatively to the beacon transmitters; Receivers co-operating therewith
    • G01S1/02Beacons or beacon systems transmitting signals having a characteristic or characteristics capable of being detected by non-directional receivers and defining directions, positions, or position lines fixed relatively to the beacon transmitters; Receivers co-operating therewith using radio waves
    • G01S1/04Details
    • G01S1/042Transmitters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S5/00Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations
    • G01S5/02Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations using radio waves
    • G01S5/14Determining absolute distances from a plurality of spaced points of known location

Abstract

A system for determining a spatial position of a receiving device within a monitoring region includes a transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals for the receiving device to receive. The transmitting unit includes one or more transmitters switched via a switching arrangement to a plurality of transmitting antennae (aerials) which emit the wireless signals. The plurality of transmitting antennae are arranged to have mutual diversity (spatial, angular/directional, polarisation, and frequency diversity are mentioned) in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the receiving device so as to overcome fading and signal occlusion / obstruction in an indoor environment. The receiving device includes computing hardware for processing the wireless signals received at the receiving device to determine RSSI (received signal strength) which may be compared to expected values to determine position. Super-sampling is possible.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DETERMINING SPATIAL POSITION OF

RECEIVING DEVICE

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to positioning systems; and more specifically, to systems for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. Moreover, the present disclosure relates to methods of employing systems for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. Furthermore, the present disclosure also relates to softwarc products recorded on non-transitory (non-transient) machine-readable data storage media, wherein the software products are executable upon computing hardware to implement the aforesaid methods.

BACKGROUND

[0002] In recent times, determining positions of persons and/or objects within indoor environments, namely "indoor positioning", has emerged as an area of interest. From various mapping applications to a statistical analysis point of view, it is desirable to determine spatial positions of users carrying mobile devices within a monitoring region.

[0003] Conventionally, various techniques have been employed to determine spatial positions of mobile devices within a monitoring region. Some conventional techniques for determining a spatial position of a mobile device employ multiple receivers that receive wireless signals from the mobile device. These receivers employ Received Signal Strength Indicators (RSSIs) in respect of the wirdess signals received from the mobile device to estimate distances of the mobile device from these receivers individually. Subsequently. the spatial position of the mobile device is determined from the estimated distances and known spatial positions of the receivers, for example, using triangulation or trilateration.

[0004] However, a correlation between the RSSIs and the distances is not straightforward, as the wireless signals often undergo attenuation, due to deep fading occurring due to destructive interference of the wireless signals, shadowing by obstacles, and free path loss. As a result, these conventional techniques provide inaccurate spatial positions, and their results often are subject to an error of a few metres.

[0005] In order to improve accuracy. other conventional techniques employ various diversity schemes, such as frequency diversity, in which the wireless signals are transmitted redundantly through multiple non-correlated channels. However, it has been lound that even such diversity schemes have failed to reduce deep fading.

[0006] Therefore, there exists a need for a system for determining an accurate spatial position of a mobile device within a monitoring region.

SUMMARY

[0007] The present disclosure seeks to provide a system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region, for example in conditions where fading occurs.

[0008] The present disclosure also seeks to provide a method of employing a system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. for example in conditions where fading occurs.

[0009] In one aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure provide a system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. The system includes at least one wireless transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals br the at least one receiving device to receive. The at least one receiving device includes computing hardware for processing the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device.

[0010] The at least one wireless transmitting unit includes a transmitter unit arrangement and a switching arrangement. The transmitter unit arrangement is operable to generate a drive signal, which is switched in operation via the switching arrangement to a plurality of transmitting antennae for emitting the wireless signals. The plurality of transmitting antennae are arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the at least one receiving device.

[0011] Moreover, the system optionally indudes a plurality of wireless transmitting units, similar to the at least one wireless transmitting units, for generating the wireless signals.

[0012] Moreovcr, the transmitter unit arrangement optionally includes a wireless transmitter that is employed in common for exciting the plurality of transmitting antennae. Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are individually excited in turn when in operation from the transnntter unit arrangement.

[0013] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different wireless emission polarisations and/or polarities.

[0014] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae have mutually non-correlated wireless signal propagation paths to the at least one receiving device when in operation. More optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to the wireless signals.

[0015] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different radiation patterns, namely, radiation patterns that are oriented differently to each other. Optionally, the at least two transmitting antennae are directional antennae.

[0016] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the switching arrangement. Additionally or alternatively, the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the transmitter unit arrangement.

[0017] Optionally, the plurahty of transmitting antennae are disposed in a manner that at least one of the plurality of transmitting antennae is arranged to provide the wireless signals to one or more locations within the monitoring region whereat wireless signal occlusion is susceptible to occur from other transmitting antennae.

[0018] Optionally, each wireless signal includes information about a transmitting antenna from which that wireless signal has been transmitted.

[0019] Moreover, the at least one receiving device is optionally operable to employ received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals received from the at least one wireless transmitting unit for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region. For this purpose, the at least one receiving device is optionally operable to employ data indicative of one or more expected received signal strength indicators RSSI); to super-sample the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device to determine at least one measured RSSI; and to compute the at least one spatial position from the one or more expected RSSI and the at least one measured RSSI.

[0020] In another aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure provide a method of employing the system for determining iii operation the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region.

[0021] In yet another aspect, embodiments of the present disclosure provide a software product recorded on non-transitory (non-transient) machine-readable data storage media.

wherein the sofiware product is executable upon computing hardware for implementing (lie aforementioned method.

[0022] Embodiments of the present disclosure substantially eliminate, or at least partially address, the aforementioned problems in the prior art, and enable users to know their spatial positions within a monitoring region accurately, without a need for a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.

[0023] Additional aspects, advantages, features and objects of the present disclosure would he made apparent from the drawings and the detailed description of the illustrative embodiments construed in conjunction with the appended claims that follow.

[0024] It will be appreciated that features of the present disclosure are susceptible to being combined in various combinations without departing from the scope of the present disclosure as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] The sunmiary above, as well as the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments, is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the present disclosure, exemplary constructions of the disclosure are shown in the drawings. However, the present disclosure is not limited to specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed herein. Moreover, those in the art will understand that the drawings are not to scale. Wherever possible, like elements have been indicated by identical numbers.

[0026] Embodiments of the present disclosure will now he described, by way of example only, with reference to the following diagrams wherein: Fig. 1 is a schematic illustration of a system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration of various components in an example implementation of the at least one receiving device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present

disclosure;

Fig. 3 is an illustration of steps of a method of employing the system for determining in operation the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region. in accordance with an embodiment of the present

disclosure;

Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of an example arrangement of a wireless transmitting unit, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; Fig. 5 is a schematic illustration of an example scenario in which a receiving device determines its spatial position within a monitoring region, using the wireless signals transmitted by the wirdess transmitting unit, in accordance with an

embodiment of the present disclosure; and

Fig. 6 is a schematic illustration of an example arrangement for determining spatial position of at least one sending device using diversity antenna arrangement.

[0027] In the accompanying drawings, an underlined number is employed to represent an item over which the underlined number is positioned or an item to which the underlined number is adjacent. A non-underlined number relates to an item identified by a line linking the non-underlined number to the item. When a number is non-underlined and accompanied by an associated arrow, the non-underlined number is used to identify a general item at which the arrow is pointing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0028] The following detailed description illustrates embodiments of the present disclosure and ways in which they can he implemented. Although the best mode of carrying out the present disclosure has been disclosed, those skilled in the art would recognize that other embodiments for carrying out or practicing the present disclosure are also possible.

[0029] Embodiments of the present disclosure provide a system for determining in operation at least one spatia' position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. The system includes at least one wireless transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals for the at least one receiving device to receive. The at least one receiving device includes computing hardware for processing (he wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device.

[0030] The at least one wireless transmitting unit includes a transmitter unit arrangement and a switching arrangement. The transmitter unit alTangement is operable to generate a drive signal, which is switched in operation via (lie switching arrangement to a plurality of transmitting antennae for emitting the wireless signals. The plurality of transmitting antennae are arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the at least one receiving device.

[0031] Moreover, the system optionally includes a plurality of wireless transmitting units, similar to the at least one wireless transmitting units, for generating the wireless signals. It is to he noted here that the term "wireless transmitting unit" only implies that a wireless transmitting unit can communicate wirelessly with a receiving device. The wireless transmitting unit can include both wired and wireless functionality. In an example, the wireless transmitting unit may be a base station that communicates wirelessly with the receiving device, while being coupled to another device via a wired connection.

[0032] Moreover, the transmitter unit arrangement optionally includes a wireless transmitter that is employed in common for exciting the plurality of transmitting antennae. Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are individually excited in turn when in operation from the transmitter unit arrangement.

[0033] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different wireless cmission polarisations and/or polanties.

[0034] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae have mutually non-correlated wireless signal propagation paths to the at least one receiving device when in operation. More optionafly, the p'urality of transmitting antennae are mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to the wireless signals.

[0035] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different radiation patterns. namely, radiation patterns that are oriented differently to each other. Optionally, the at least two transmitting antennae are directional antennae.

[0036] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the switching arrangement. Additionally or alternatively. the p'urality of transmitting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the transmitter unit arrangement.

[0037] Optionally, the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed in a manner that at least one of the plurality of transmitting antennae is arranged to provide the wireless signals to one or more locations within the monitoring region whereat wireless signal ocdusion is susceptible to occur from other transmitting antennae.

[0038] Optionally, each wireless signal includes information about a transniitting antenna from which that wireless signal has been transmitted.

[0039] Moreover, the at least one receiving device is optionally operable to employ received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals received from the at least one wireless transmitting unit for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region. For (his purpose, the at least one receiving device is optionally operable to employ data indicative of one or more expected received signal strength indicators (RSSI); to super-sample the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device to determine at least one mcasured RSSI; and to compute the at least one spatial position from the one or more expected RSSI and the at least one measured RSSI.

[0040] RefelTing now to the drawings, particularly by their reference numbers, Fig. 1 is a schematic illustration of a system 100 for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device 102 within a monitoring region, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The system 100 includes at least onc wireless transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals for the receiving device 102 to receive. The at least one wireless transmitting unit indudes a transmitter unit arrangement 104, a switching arrangement 106, and a plurality of transmitting antennae, depicted as a transmitting antenna 108a and a transmitting antenna 108b in Fig. 1. The transmitting antennae lOSa and 108b arc hereinafter collectively referred to as the transmitting antennae 108.

[0041] The transmitter unit arrangement 104 is operable to generate a drive signal. which is switched in operation via the switching arrangement 106 to the transmitting antennae 108 for emitting the wirdess signals.

[0042] Moreover. the transmitter unit arrangement 104 optionally includes a wireless transmitter that is employed in common for exciting the transmitting antennae 108. The wireless transmitter may, for example, be based on any of: Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunicalions (DECT), IEEE 802.11, ZigBee, or Bluetooth ("ZigBee" and "Bluetooth" are registered trademarks).

[0043] Optionally, the transmitting antennae 108 are individually excited in turn when in operation from the transmitter unit arrangement 104.

[0044] Moreover, the transmitting antennae 108 are arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the receiving device 102. The term "diversitY' means that a wireless signal is transmitted through a plurality of channels that experience mutually different signal strength altering phenomena. such as polarities, reflections, refraetions, scattering, and so on. Beneficially, the transmitting antennae 108 have mutual diversity in at least one of: space, polarization and/or frequency.

[0045] In order to create polarization diversity, the transmitting antennae 108 optionally have mutually different wireless emission polarisations and/or polarities. In an example, the transmitting antenna 108a is optionally operable to emit wireless signals that are horizontally polarized, while the transmitting antenna 108b is optionally operable to emit wireless signals that are vertically polarized.

[0046] In order to create frequency diversity, each of the transmitting antennae 108 optionally has mutually non-correlated frequency channels for transmitting wireless signals. In an example where the wireless transmitter is a Bluetooth transmitter, each of the transmitting antennae 108 optionally employs three or less mutually non-correlated frequency channds. In another example where the wireless transmitter is an IEEE 802.11 transmitter. each of the transmitting antennae 108 optionally employs four or less mutually non-correlated frequency channels.

[0047] In order to create spatial diversity, the transmitting antennae 108 optionally have mutually non-corrdated wireless signal propagation paths to the receiving device 102 when in operation. More optionally, the transmitting antennae 108 arc mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to the wireless signals. This potentially prevents overlapping of transmission.

[0048] The mutual diversity potentially reduces deep fading that occurs due to destructive interference of the wireless signals propagating through multiple paths.

[0049] Moreover, the transmitting antennae 108 optionally include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different radiation patterns. namely, radiation patterns that are oriented dilTerently to each other. Optionally, the at least two transmitting antennae are directional antennae. Use of directional antennae optionally enables more accurate positioning of the receiving device 102, as will be described in conjunction with Figs. 4 and 5.

[0050] Optionally, the transniltting antennae 108 are disposed as a cluster around the switching arrangement 106, as shown in Fig. 1. Additionally or alternatively, the transmitting antennae 108 are disposed as a cluster around the transmitter unit arrangement 104.

[0051] Optionally. the transmitting antennae 108 are disposed in a manner that at east one of the transmitting antennae 108 is arranged to provide the wireless signals to one or more locations within the monitoring region whereat wireless signal occlusion is susceptible to occur from other transmitting antennae.

[0052] The transmitting antennae 108 may be any suitable type ol antennae, such as microstrip antennae, whip antennae, monopole antennae, dipole antennae and the like.

[0053] Moreover, the receiving device 102 includes computing hardware for processing the wireless signals received at the receiving device 102 for determining the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102 within the monitoring region. For this purpose, each wireless signal includes information about a transmitting antenna from which that wireless signal has been transmitted. In an example, the information about a particular transmitting antenna may include at least one of: a unique identifier (ID) of that particular transmitting antenna, a spatial position of that particular transmitting antenna, an address of that particular transmitting antenna, a frequency used by that particular transmitting antenna, and/or a polarity of that particular transmitting antenna. The spatial position of the particular transmitting antenna may, for example, be provided with respect to a coordinate system of the monitoring region.

[0054] In order to determine its spatial position within the monitoring region, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to employ received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals received from the at least one wireless transmitting unit. Additionally or alternatively, the receiving device 102 may optionally be operable to employ Time-of-Flight (ToF) measurement in a similar manner.

[00551 The receiving device 102 beneficially has a knowledge, for example is provided with inlormation a priori, ol exact spatial positions oF (lie transmitting antennae 10$. namely, spatial position coordinates of the transmitting antennae 108. In sonic examples, the transmitting antennae 108 may be fixed. In other examples, the transmitting antennae 198 may be movable, and may be operable to send their respective spatial position coordinates with the wireless signals.

[0056] Using the knowledge of the spatial positions of the transmitting anteirnae 108 and the information about transmitting antennae from which the wireless signals have heen reccived, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to estimate its own spatial position coordinates. For this purpose, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to compute its distance from each of the transmitting antennae 108. based upon Received Signal Strength Indicators (RSSIs), using an example equation as follows: d= 10 n where d' represents a distance from a given transmitting antenna; d0' represents a reference distance, which may be taken as one meter ( m) in an example; [44)' represents an RSSI measured at the reference distance do'; [I represents a measured RSSI corresponding to which the distance d' is to be calculated; W represents shadowing caused by obstacles, such as waHs and other objects; and n' represents an attenuation exponent. For example, n = 2 (two) in free space.

[0057] Morcovcr, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to employ data indicative of one or more expected RSSIs in various spatial positions within the monitoring region. with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108. In order to obtain the data indicative of the one or more expected RSSIs. the system 100 is optionally operable to employ one or more models for expected RSSIs in the various spatial positions within the monitoring region.

These models beneficially take into account at least one of: deep fading and/or shadowing caused by obstacles, such as walls; and/or free space loss. These models beneficially assume that the expected RSSIs fade according to a Rayleigh distribution, in situations where there is a lack of "line of sight" path between the receiving device 102 and the transmitting antennae 108. In other situations where there is a "line of sight", namely a direct substantially unimpeded path. between the receiving device 102 and at least one of the transmitting antennae 108, the models may assume that the expected RSSIs fade according to a Rician distribution.

[0058] Moreover, the models are beneficially based upon one or more probabilities of the RSSIs being within an expected range of values at a given spatial position with respect to a given transmitting antenna. Accordingly, the models are optionally pre-calculated for each of the transnntting antennae 108.

[0059] The pre-calculated models are optionally stored in the receiving device 102 and/or a database coupled in communication with the receiving device 102. The pre-calculated models are beneficially re-used, as and when required.

[0060] Additionally. the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to super-sampk the wireless signals received at the receiving device 102 to determine at least one measured RSSI with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108. For this purpose. the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to measure a predelined number ol individual RSSI measurements corresponding to each of the transmitting antennae 108. The predefined number may he either user-defined or system-defined by default. The receiving device 102 is then optionally operable to combine the individual RSSI measurements to determine the at least one measured RSSI with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108.

[0061] Using the one or more expected RSSIs and the at least one measured RSSL the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to determine, for each of the transmitting antennae 108 individually, a probability of a given spatial position being a most likely spatial position -12-of the receiving device 102. Subsequently. the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to combine probabilities of the given spatial position colTesponding to all of the transmitting antennae 108. In this manner, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to determine and combine such probabilities for each of the various spatial positions within the monitoring region.

[0062] Consequently, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to identify a spatial position with a maximum combined probability, from amongst the various spatial positions, as the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102. Thus, the receiving device 102 is operable to compute the at least one spatial position from the one or more expected RSSIs and the at least one measured RSSI.

[0063] Moreover, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to take into account additional information about one or more of the transmitting antennae 108 from which the receiving device 102 did not receive any wireless signaL It is unlikely that the receiving device 102 does not receive any wireless signal from a tnmsmitting antenna that is in a spatial proximity of the receiving device 102. Accordingly. the system 100 is optionally operable to calculate a probability of a given spatial position incurring wireless signal occlusion from a given transmitting antenna. Such probabilities are optionally prc-calculated for each of the various spatial positions with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108. lii an example, these pre-calculated probabilities may he incorporated into the aforementioned pre-calculated models.

[0064] For illustration purposes offly, let us consider an example table below: Position Prl Pr2 Pr3 Pr4 Pr5 Combined P1 0.22 0.21 0.24 0.31 0.20 0.24 P2 0.41 0.35 0.37 0.43 0.51 0.41 P3 0.02 0.11 0.08 0.01 0.01 0.05 P4 0.23 0.19 0.21 0.17 0.20 0.20 P5 0.12 0.14 0.10 0.08 0.08 0.10 [0065] In the example taNe, a column Position' corresponds to various spatial positions within the monitoring region. For illustration purposes only. five spatial positions. namely.

P1', P2', P3', P4' and PS' have been considered herein.

[0066] Columns Pr!', Pr2', Pr3', Pr4' and Pr5' correspond to probabilities, of a given spatial position being a most likely spatial position of the receiving device 102, that have been measured individually with respect to a first transmitting antenna, a second transmitting antenna, a third transmitting antenna, a!ourth transmitting antenna and a liith transmitting antenna, respectively. These transmitting antennae may, for example, he mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation. For illustration purposes only, five transmitting antennae have been considered herein.

[0067] A column Conthined' corresponds to combined probabilities obtained by combining the individual probabilities represented by the columns Pr]', Pr2', Pr3', Pr4' and PrS'.

In this example. the combined probability has been calculated by taking an average of the individual probabilities.

[0068] In the example table, the spatial position P2' has a maximum combined probability.

Therefore, the spatial position P2' is identified as a most probable spatial position of the receiving device 102.

[0069] Furthermore, the system 100 optionally enables a user carrying the receiving device 102 to determine his/her spatial position, for example, when moving within the monitoring region. Examples of the receiving device 102 include, but are not limited to, a mobile phone, a smart telephone, a Mobile Internet Device (MID), a tablet computer, an Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), a phablet computer, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). a web pad, a handhcld Personal Computer (PC), and a laptop computer.

[0070] Optionally, the receiving device 102 may communicate its spatial position to a remote server (not shown in Fig. I), via a wireless communication link. For this purpose, the receiving device 102 may employ a wireless communication network. Examples of such wireless communication networks include, but are not limited to, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWANs), Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs), second generation (2G) telecommunication networks, third generation (3G) telecommunication networks, fourth generation (4G) telecommunication networks, and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) networks. -14-

[0071] In an example, the monitoring region may be a retail premises, such as a shopping mall, where various users may move and shop across a configuration of shops that sell mutually different types of products or services. The remote server may he operalie to collect statistical data indicative of spatial positions of the various users as a function of time. The remote server may then be operable to analyze further the statistical data to determine trends and patterns in shopping behaviour of the users. As an additional example, the spatial position of the receivers is computed and the position of the receiver is communicated to other terminal than the positioned terminal. As an example. there is provided mobile phone position tracking of child's phone via a cloud service for benefit of parents.

[0072] Fig. 1 is merely an example, which should not unduly limit the scope of the claims herein. It is to be understood that the implementation of the system 100 is provided as an example and is not limited to a specific number of receiving devices, wireless transmitting units, transmitter unit arrangements, switching arnmgements. and transmitting antennae. A person skilled in the art will recognize many variations, alternatives, and modifications of

embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0073] In an example. the system 100 may optionally include a plurality of wireless transmitting units, similar to the at least one wireless transmitting units, for generating the wireless signals. It is to be noted here that the term "wireless transmitting unit" only implies that a wireless transmitting unit can communicate wirelessly with the receiving device 102.

The wireless transmitting unit can include both wired and wireless functionality. In an example. the wireless transmitting unit may be a base station that communicates wirelessly with the receiving device 102, while being coupled to another device via a wired connection.

Accordingly, the wireless transmitting unit may employ a communication network that can be a collection of individual networks, interconnected with each other and functioning as a single large network. Such individual networks may be wired, wireless, or a combination thereof Examples of such individual networks include, but are not limited to, Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), WLANs, WWANs, WMANs, the Internet. Public Switched Telephone Networks PSTNs), Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN). 2G telecommunication networks. 3G telecommunication networks. 4G telecommunication networks, and WiMAX networks. Additionally or alternativdy, the receiving device 102 and the wireless transmitting unit may use their own "Bluetooth" network. ("Bluetooth" is a registered trademark).

[0074] In accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure, the system 100 optionally includes a plurality of wireless transmitters, in addition or as an alternative to the at least one wireless transmitting unit. Each of (he plurality of wireless transmitters indudes a transniltting antenna. The plurality of wireless transmitters may either coordinate with each other or function independent of each other. In this embodiment, the plurality of wireless transmitters optionally use an identical identifier, and therefore, are capable of functioning in a manner that is similar to the at. least one wireless transmitting unit.

[0075] It is to he appreciated that employing the at least one wireless transmitting unit is beneficially prefelTed over employing separate wireless transmitters. For illustration purposes only, let us consider an example situation where five transmitting antennae are required.

Firstly, employing a wireless transmitting unit that includes a single wireless transmitter and five transmitting antennae is less expensive, as compared to employing five separate wirdess transmitters. Secondly, in case of separate wireless transmitters, a likelihood of overlapping transmissions increases proportionally with an increase in a number of wireless transmitters.

Thirdly, the wireless transmitting unit is capable of providing fixed transmission power to all of the five transmitting antennae. On the other hand, transmission power varies from one wireless transmitter to another, due to variances in a semiconductor used in Integrated Circuits (IC) of separate wireless transmitters. Fourthly. the wireless transmitting unit consumes less power, as compared to the five separate wireless transmitters. Fifthly, spectrum certification is much simpler in case of the wireless transmitting unit.

[0076] Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration of various components in an example implementation of the receiving device 102, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The receiving device 102 includes, but is not limited to, a data memory 202, a processor 204, Input/Output (I/O) devices 206, a wireless interface 208, and a system bus 210 that operatively couples various components including the data memory 202, the processor 204, the 110 devices 206 and the wireless interface 208.

[0077] The receiving device 102 also includes a power source (not shown in Fig. 2) for supp'ying electrical power to various components of the receiving device 102. The power source may, for example, be a battery or other suitable power storage means.

[0078] The data memory 202 optionally includes non-removable memory, removable memory, or a combination thereof. The non-removable memory. for example, includes -16-Random-Access Memory (RAM). Read-Only Memory ROM), flash memory, or a hard drive. The removable memory, for example, includes flash memory cards, memory sticks, or smart cards.

[0079] The data memory 202 optionally stores a position-determining module 212. When executed on the processor 204, the position-determining module 212 is optionally operable to employ the data indicative of the expected RSSIs in the various spatial positions with respect to each ol the transmitting antennae 108. Accordingly, when executed on the processor 204.

the position-determining module 212 is optionally operable to use the aforementioned pre-calculated models, as described earlier.

[0080] Moreover, when executed on the processor 204, the position-determining module 212 is optionally operable to super-sample wireless signals received at the wireless interface 208 to determine the at least one measured RSSI with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108.

[0081] Moreover, when executed on the processor 204. the position-determining module 212 is optionally operable to compute the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102 from the expected RSSIs and the at least one measured RSSI, as described earlier.

[0082] The 110 devices 206 optionally include a display screen for presenting a user interface to a user of the receiving device. The user interface optionally enables the user to determine, namely to find out, his/her spatial position within the monitoring region. The user interface may optionally enable the user to trace a path that he/she followed within the monitoring region, for example. using his/her current and previous spatial positions. Optionally, the spatial positions and/or the path can he shown using one or more maps of the monitoring region.

[0083] Moreover, the receiving device 102 is optionally operable to communicate its spatial position to a remote server using the wireless interface 208.

[0084] Optionally, the wireless interface 208 may be used to upload new probabilistic models, configurations and/or software updates to the receiving device 102, as and when required.

[0085] Fig. 2 is merely an example, which should not unduly limit the scope of the claims herein. It is to be understood that the specific designation for the receiving device 102 is provided as an example and is not to be construed as limiting the receiving device 102 to specific numbers, types, or arrangements of modules and/or components of the receiving device 102. A person skilled in the art will recognize many variations, alternatives, and modifications of embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0086] Fig. 3 is an illustration of steps of a method of employing the system 100 for determining in operation the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102 within the monitoring region, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The method is depicted as a collection ol steps in a logical flow diagram, which represents a sequence of steps that can he implemented in hardware, software, or a combination thereof [0087] At a step 302. the transmitter unit arrangement 104 generates a drive signal.

[0088] Subsequently, at a step 304, the switching arrangement 106 switches the drive signal to the transmitting antennae 108 for emitting wireless signals.

[0089] In accordance with the steps 302 and 304, the transmitting antennae 108 are optionally excited individually in turn when in operation from the transmitter unit arrangement 104.

[0090] As described earlier, the transmitting antennae 108 are arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the receiving device 102. Accordingly. the method optionally includes a step at which the transmitting antennae are mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to the wirdess signals.

[0091] Next, at a step 306, the receiving device 102 employs received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals for determining the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102 within the monitoring region.

[0092] In accordance with the step 306, the receiving device 102 optionally employs the data indicative of the expected RSSIs in the various spatial positions with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108; super-samples the wireless signals to determine the at least one measured RSSI with respect to each of the transmitting antennae 108; and computes the at least one spatial position of the receiving device 102 from the expected RSSIs and the at least one measured RSSI. as described in conjunction with Fig. 1.

[0093] The steps 302 to 306 are only illustrative and other alternatives can also be provided where one or more steps are added, one or more steps are removed, or one or more steps are provided in a different sequence without departing from the scope of the claims herein.

[0094] Embodiments of the present disclosure provide a software product recorded on non-transitory (non-transient) machine-readable data storage media, wherein the software product is executable upon computing hardware for implementing the method as described in conjunction with Fig. 3.

[0095] Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of an examp'e arrangement of a wireless transmitting unit 400. in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The wireless transmitting unit 400 could be implemented as the at least one wireless transmitting unit of the system 100. and vice versa.

[0096] The wireless transmitting unit 400 includes a transmitter unit arrangement 402, a switching arrangement 404, and a plurality of transmitting antennae, depicted as a transmitting antenna 406a, a transmitting antenna 406b and a transmitting antenna 406c in Fig. 4.

[0097] The transmitter unit arrangement 402 is operable to generate a drive signal, which is switched in operation via the switching arrangement 404 to the transmitting antennae 406a.

406b and 404c for emitting wireless signals.

[0098] Optionally, the transmitting antennae 406a. 406b and 406c are directional antennae.

Consequently, the transmitting antennae 406a, 406b and 406e have radiation patterns that are oriented differently to each other, namely mutually differently orientated.

[0099] As a result, the transmitting antennae 406a. 406b and 406c have different signal coverage areas. With reference to Fig. 4, the transmitting antennae 406a, 406b and 406c transmit wireless signals in their respective signal coverage areas 408a, 408b and 408c. when in operation.

[0100] Moreover, a wireless signal emitted from a particular transmitting antenna includes information about that particular transmitting antenna. This information enables a receiving device to identify an origin of the wireless signal, namely, the particular transmitting antenna from which the wireless signal has been transmitted.

[01011 In an example, the information about the particular transmitting antenna may include at least one of: a unique ID of that particular transmitting antenna, a spatial position of that particuInr transmitting antenna, an address of that particular transmitting antenna, a frequency used by that particular transmitting antenna, and/or a polarity of that particular transmitting antenna. The spatial position may, for example. be provided with respect to a coordinate system of a monitoring region.

[0102] A schematic representation ol example information included in wireless signals transmitted by the transmitting antennae 406a, 406b and 406c is provided in an example table below: Antenna ID Position Frequency Polarity Antenna 1 (xl, yl) 1 Vertical Antenna I (xl. yl) 2 Vertical Antenna I (xl, yl) 3 Vertical Antenna 2 (x2, y2) I Horizontal Antenna 2 (x2, y2) 2 Horizontal Antenna 2 (x2, y2) 3 Horizontal Antenna 3 (x3, y3) I Vertical Antenna 3 (x3, y3) 2 Vertical Antenna 3 (x3, y3) 3 Vertical [0103] In the example table, a column Antenna ID' corresponds to a unique ID of a transmitting antenna. For illustration purposes on'y, et us consider that the unique lDs of the transmitting antennae 406a. 406b and 406c are Antenna I', Antenna 2' and Antenna 3', -20 -respectively. A column Position' corresponds to spatial position coordinates of the transmitting antenna.

[0104] A column Frequency' corresponds to a frequency used by the transmifting antenna, For illustration purposes only, let us consider that each of the transmitting antennae 406a.

406b and 406c usc threc frequency channels.

[0105] A column Polarity' corresponds to a polarity of the transmitting antenna, namely, vertical and horizontal.

[0106] Fig. 4 is merely an example, which should not unduly limit the scope of the claims herein. It is to he understood that die specific designation for the wireless transmitting unit 400 is providcd as an example and is not to be construed as limiting the wireless transmitting unit 400 to specific numbers. types. or arrangements of transmitting antennae. A person skilled in the art will recognize many variations, alternatives, and modifications of embodiments of the present disclosure. For example, the wireless transmitting unit 400 may include one or more omni-directional antennae, instead of one or more directional antennae.

[0107] Fig. 5 is a schematic illustration of an example scenario in which a receiving device determines its spatial position within a monitoring region, using the wireless signals transmitted by the transmitting antennae 406a. 406b and 406c of the wireless transmitting unit 400, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0108] The receiving device is configured to store one or more maps of the monitoring region. In an example, these maps may be used to indicate the signal coverage areas 408a, 408b and 408c of the transmitting antennae 406a. 406b and 406c within the monitoring region.

[0109] bformation pertaining to the signal coverage areas 408a, 408b and 408c is optionally provided to the receiving device beforehand. This may, for example, he a case when spatial positions and/or emission characteristics of the transmitting antennae 406a, 406b and 406c are fixed. Additionally or alternatively, the information pertaining to the signal coverage areas 408a. 408b and 408c is optionally provided to the receiving device periodically.

[0110] Using measured RSSIs with respect to the transmitting antennae 406a, 406h and 406e and the aforementioned information about the transmitting antennae 406a, 40th and 406c. the -21 -receiving device is operable to determine its own probable spatial position within the monitoring area.

[0111] b an alternative implementation, the receiving device is operable to send the measured RSSIs to a remote server, which is then operable to determine a probable spatial position of the receiving device within the nionitoring region. In such a configuration there would be no need to do all processing in the receiving device, part of or all of the processing could he done in the remote server. The remote server can optionally send the position information back to the receiving device.

[0112] For illustration purposes only. let us consider that, in the example scenario, the receiving device does not fall within the signal coverage area 408a of the transniitting antenna 406a. Let us also consider that the receiving device falls within the signal coverage areas 408b and 408c of the transmitting antennae 406b and 406c, as depicted by probable areas 502 and 504 in Fig. 5.

[0113] The probable areas 502 and 504 represent areas where the receiving device is likely to he positioned with respect to the transmitting antennae 406h and 406c, respectively. The probable areas 502 and 504 are optionally determined based on the measured RSSIs and the aforementioned information about the transmitting antennae 406b and 406c.

[0114] A most probable area 506 is optionally determined by combining the probable areas 502 and 504, as shown in Fig. 5. Therefore, the most probable area 506 represents an area where the receiving device is most likely to be positioned.

[0115] Moreover, while determining the most probable area 506, the receiving device is optionally operable to take into account information about the transmitting antenna 406a from which the receiving device did not receive any wireless signal.

[0116] Fig. is merely an example, which shoukl not unduly limit the scope of the claims herein. A person skilled in the art will recognize many variations, alternatives, and modifications of embodiments of the present disclosure. For example, in a situation where omni-directional antennae are used instead of directional antennae, signal coverage areas change accordingly.

[0117] In Fig 6, there is shown an illustration of an alternative embodiment where location of mobile device 600 is determined by one or more receiving stations 602, 604 and 606. Based -22 -on the alternative embodiment, the mobile device 600 (such as mobile tag) has a tnmsmitter unit 622 and a switching arrangement 624 for selecting amongst the sending antennae 620.

626 or 628 to send one or more signals for positioning purposes. The mobile tag 600 can he attached, for example. to a person. a keychain, a shopping cart, a cargo unit, and so forth.

There is at least one receiving device (602, 604, 606) installed in a known position. The receiving devices 602, 604 and 606 have antennae 6020, 6040 and 6060 respectively for receiving signals from the mobile tag 600. The receiving devices 602, 604. 606 can determine the position of the mobile tag 600 in respect the known position of the receiving devices. The position can be determined by calculating the position in the devices 602, 604 and/or 606.

Alternatively, the calcifiation can he implemented partly or entirely on a server system 612 connected to receiving devices via communication network 610. The position of thc mobile tag 600 can be communicated to third party systems via a communication network 610.

[0118] Embodiments of the present disclosure are susceptible to being used for various purposes, including, though not limited to. enabling users to know their spatial positions within a monitoring region accurately, without a need for a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver.

[0119] Modifications to embodiments of the present disclosure described in the foregoing are possible without departing from the scope of the present disclosure as defined by the accompanying claims. Expressions such as "including", "comprising", "incorporating", "consisting of', "have", "is" used to describe and claim the present disclosure are intended to be construed in a non-exclusive manner. namely allowing for items. components or elements not explicitly described also to be present. Reference to the singular is also to be construed to relate to the plural.

Claims (27)

  1. -23 -CLAIMSWe claim: 1. A system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region. wherein the system includes at least one wireless transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals for the at least one receiving device to receive, and wherein the at least onc receiving device includes computing hardware for processing the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device for determining the at least one spatia' position of the at least one receiving device.wherein the at least one wireless transmitting unit includes a transmitter unit arangement for gcncrating a drive signal, which is switched in operation via a switching arrangemcnt to a plurality of transmitting antennae for enutting the wireless signals, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae are arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the at least one receiving device.
  2. 2. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the transmitter unit arrangement includes a wireless transmitter that is employed in common for exciting the plurality of transmitting antennae.
  3. 3. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae include at east two transmitting antennae that have mutuafly different wireless emission polarisations and/or polarities.
  4. 4. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae have mutually non-correlated wireless signal propagation paths to the at least one receiving device when in operation.
  5. 5. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different radiation patterns.
  6. 6. The system as claimed in claim 1. wherein the plurality of transniltting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the switching arrangement.
  7. 7. The system as claimed in claim 1. wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed as a cluster around the transmitter unit arrangement.
    -24 -
  8. 8. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae are disposed in a manner that at least one of the plurality of transmitting antennae is arranged to provide the wireless signals to one or more locations within the monitoring region whereat wireless signal occlusion is susceptible to occur.
  9. 9. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae are mutually spaced apart by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to the wireless signals.
  10. 10. The system as daimed in claim I, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae are individually excited in turn when in operation from the transnntter unit arrangement.
  11. 11. The system as claimed in claim 1. wherein the at least one receiving device is operable to employ received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals received from the at least one wireless transmitting unit for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region.
  12. 12. The system as claimed in claim 1. wherein the system includes a plurality of wirdess transmitting units for generating the wireless signals.
  13. 13. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the at least one receiving device is operable to employ data indicative of one or more expected received signal strength indicators (RSSI); to super-sample the wirdess signals received at the at least one receiving device to determine at least one measured received signal strength indicator (RSSI); and to compute the at least one spatial position from the one or more expected received signal strength indicators RSSI) and the at least one measured received signal strength indicator RSSI).
  14. 14. A method of employing a system for determining in operation at least one spatial position of at least one receiving device within a monitoring region, wherein the system includes at least one wireless transmitting unit for emitting wireless signals for the at least one receiving device to receive, and wherein the at least one receiving device includes computing hardware for processing the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device, wherein the method includes: -25 -U) using a transmitter unit alTangement of the at least one wireless transmitting unit for generating a drive signal, and (ii) using a switching arrangement of the at least one wireless transmitting unit for switching the drive signal in operation to a phirality of transmitting antennae for emitting the wireless signals. wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae arc arranged to have mutual diversity in their emission characteristics that influence reception of the wireless signals at the at least one receiving device.
  15. 15. The method as claimed in claim 14. wherein the method includes arranging for the transnritter unit arrangement to employ a wireless transmitter in common for exciting the plurality of transmitting antennae.
  16. 16. The method as claimed in claim 14. wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae include at least two transmitting antennae that have mutually different wireless emission polarisations and/or polarities.
  17. 17. The method as daimed in claim 14, wherein the p'urality of transmitting antennae have mutually non-correlated wireless signal propagation paths to the at least one receiving device when in operation.
  18. 18. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the plurality of transmitting antennae include at east two transmitting antennae that have mutually different radiation patterns.
  19. 19. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the method includes disposing the plurality of transmitting antennae as a cluster around the switching arrangement.
  20. 20. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the method includes disposing the plurality of transmitting antennae as a cluster around the transmitter unit anangenient.
  21. 21. The method as claimed in claim 14. wherein the method includes disposing the plurality of transmitting antennae in a manner that at least one of the plurality of transmitting antennae is arranged to provide the wireless signals to one or more locations within the monitoring region whereat wireless signal occlusion is susceptible to occur.
    -26 -
  22. 22. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the method includes spacing apart the plurality of transmitting antennae mutually by at least one wavelength of wireless radiation corresponding to die wireless signa's.
  23. 23. The method as claimed in daim 14, wherein the method includes exciting the p'urality of transmitting antennae individually in turn when in operation from the transmitter unit arrangement.
  24. 24. The method as claimed in claim 14. wherein the method includes arranging for the at least one receiving device to employ received signal strength indication in respect of the wireless signals received from the at least one wireless transmitting unit for determining the at least one spatial position of the at least one receiving device within the monitoring region.
  25. 25. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the method inehides arranging for the system to employ a plurality of wireless transmitting units for generating the wireless signals.
  26. 26. The method as claimed in claim 14. wherein the method includes arranging for the at least one receiving device to employ data indicative of one or more expected received signal strength indicators (RSSI): to super-sample the wireless signals received at the at least one receiving device to determine at least one measured received signal strength indicator (RSSI); and to compute the at least one spatial position from the one or more expected received signal strength indicators (RSSI) and the at least one measured received signal strength indicator (RS SI).
  27. 27. A software product recorded on non-transitory machine-readable data storage media, wherein the software product is executable upon computing hardware for implementing the method as claimed in claim 14.
GB1402195.0A 2014-02-08 2014-02-08 Method and system for determining spatial position of receiving device Withdrawn GB2522892A (en)

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