Pozyx Indoor Positioning/Tracking/Occupancy Detection


(Benji) #1

I had a search on the forum but I haven’t seen anything on this yet:


Looks VERY accurate and could be the key…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Sigh… Everything looks amazing on Kickstarter (even SmartThings, LOL … JK!!!). That’s the whole point!


(Benji) #3

Sure, but even after you scrape off the glitter, the potential is there for this one.

This is essentially what iBeacon should have been from the get go.


#4

Like many Kickstarter projects that don’t have patents, this technology already exists. In fact, multiple technologies already exist. The issue is the cost.

Their system requires 4 positioning units in each room plus an Arduino board size unit on each thing being tracked. Not at all practical. The hospital example they give would never happen. Hospitals already have very effective RFID wristband or ID badge trackers at much lower costs.

Their room cleaning robot example is equally off, because most such robots already have very effective proximity sensors. They don’t run into the lamp, then run into the couch, then run into the lamp, etc. They stop short of hitting both.

Their “find a landmark” example, quite frankly, makes no sense at all when matched to their technology.

And as yet they have none of the licenses they’re going to need.

IBeacons solve a completely different problem, and are a very good solution for that purpose. Give a person a way of detecting a transmitter they didn’t know was there and trigger a pre agreed on activity without requiring an additional device.

This kickstarter project requires carrying an additional device. It’s in a restricted band. It requires positioning multiple large devices in one area. In specific locations.

Beyond that, I’m pretty sure Decawave already holds the patent (well, 16 patents, actually) on what Pozyx is trying to do, with a commercially available product already fully licensed. And in a much smaller form factor.

http://www.decawave.com

I’m not seeing the value add for this.

Microlocation is a big thing right now and a lot of people are working on it. But this doesn’t look like the solution for either commercial venues or in home.

Just my engineering opinion, FWIW.


(Mickael Decawave) #5

Hi,

I’m from Decawave and wanted to bring some comments to the previous posts.

First, Pozyx IS using the Decawave technology.

Decawave is a semiconductor company (like intel, TI, Freescale…) and even if we do provide SW and enablement, we do not sell end products and have to limit the number of dev kits we can propose.

That’s what Pozyx is offering, development platforms with more application specific SW to help users develop their own end application.
It is not yet an end product and so looks a bit bulky but it is a very good intermediate way point between a piece of silicon and an end product.
And we’re glad they bring this as it is a great enabler!

Regarding the underlying technology, it is called IR-UWB (802.15.4a) and it was defined from the start to address micro location applications. It’s RF signal is extremely specific, shaped for accurate distance measurement - 10cm/4 inches accuraacy.
Note that it can also do data communication simultaneously up to 6.8Mbps, interesting for Wireless Sensor Networks.

iBeacons, Wifi based systems are ok if your application can leave with 2 to 5m accuracy like guiding you to a shop in a mall. But Location was NOT part of the standard definition and there are some Hard limits - the physics of the RF signal- that will make it impossible to reach item level accuracy - sub-foot.

In term of infrastructure, our technology requires a minimum of 3 “beacons”, like any other positioning technology as they all rely on trilateration or multilateration.
May sound unrealistic to expect consumers to install an infra in their homes but if your connected objects (thermostat, light bulb, …) ARE the infra this makes the scenario more plausible…

Of course one hurdle is the fact that our technology is not yet in a phone meaning you need a “gateway” between your phone and our technology.

But some of our industrial customers have already designed nice phones sleeves and miniatures tags that you can pair with your phone (Thank you BLE!). So why not a consumer phone sleeve with our technology onboard?

Hope this helps.

Mickaël.


#6

Thanks, very interesting!

If they’re using the Decawave chip they should say so in their campaign, instead of implying they’re doing something which is both new and unique.

So basically they’re offering a Decawave kit for Arduino makers. That’s fine, it could be a good product, but then they need to describe that when they ask for money.

Also–it still doesn’t match the use cases in their appeal. Existing cleaning robots don’t run into furniture, nor do they use positioning. They use proximity detectors, an entirely different approach. Not knowing the difference increases the impression of amateurism in the campaign.

Anyway, thank you again for the explanation. Please encourage them to provide accurate meaningful descriptions of their product in the future.


(Benji) #7

Thank you for saying what I wanted to say but beat me to the punch.

Regarding the size, it’s only that big because initially they are making it compatible with one of the larger Arduino boards, to quote their FAQ:

"Can it be made smaller?

To ensure Arduino compatibility, the tags are now the same size as an
Arduino so they can easily click on an Arduino board. Without the
Arduino compatibility, we can probably shrink the tag by a factor of 4
or 5. Perhaps something for after our campaign?"

It definitely has more promise and as for needing 3/4 per room, I guess if your house is square, not very large and the walls are made of paper you could possibly get away with 3/4 for the entire house:

"What is the range of the system?

The maximum range of the ultra-wideband signals is 200m in clear
line-of-sight (LOS). In indoor environments this will be less due to
obstructions such as walls. Our test have shown that the signal can
usually penetrate 1 or 2 thick concrete walls."

Mickael can you link us some of those ‘miniature tags’ that you can pair with your phone?


(Mickael Decawave) #8

It’s not only an Arduino kit.

We, Decawave, provide an underlying technology that gives a raw accuracy of 10 to 30cm depending on the conditions.

Then it is the expertise of the system designers through the integration of data from sensors, advanced filters… that make it possible to take it down to 2/3cm, make it easy to install & operate…

That’s what Pozyx also offers beyond the HW.


(Mickael Decawave) #9

Benji,

The Decawave chip itself is 6x6mm then you need a few passives, a basic MCU (even 8bit). And a battery.

There are modules from our industrial partners that are already in the 15x25mm range.

I cannot disclose yet the miniature tags pairing to a phone but come back to me by end of the summer and I’ll do so.

Regarding the range in a house/building, it will depend on the material of the walls so no single answer.

But some of our customers are deploying in hospital environments which are not friendly for RF and they need 1 beacon (we call them anchors) for 80m2.

So covering a house with 3 anchors is not a problem.


#10

My apologies if I wasn’t clear: by “kit,” I meant enabling software as well as the Decawave hardware. I certainly see the value add in that.

Again, though, I think the campaign would be more meaningful if the description were more specific.

Obviously Decawave has a good reputation, that’s why I mentioned you in the first place. :wink: That should be leveraged in the fundraising campaign. “We’ve built a great way for individuals to easily take advantage of industry-leading Decawave positioning technology” would make a lot more sense than their current video.