LoCo

Highly accurate location framework

LoCo is a framework that supports highly accurate room-level location sensing.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of social and collaborative applications that leverage location to provide users novel and engaging experiences. However, many applications fail to realize their full potential because of limitations in current location technologies. Current frameworks work well outdoors but fare poorly indoors.

To address this limitation, we have developed LoCo, a new framework that can provide highly accurate room-level location. The increased accuracy is achieved through two novel contributions: first, we introduced additional signals from a new radio type, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) using inexpensive room beacons; second, we developed a new classification technique that emphasizes the ordering of APs and BLE beacons based on observed RSSI values rather than the values themselves. While RSSI values are notorious for their fluctuation, the relative ordering of RSSI strength can be more consistent in the face of multi-path and other interference effects. In this way, we leverage the physical interference of a building as a useful signal, rather than try to marginalize it from a calculation. While we are utilizing a relatively new technology it is important to note that many existing phones already contain BLE radios (e.g. Apple’s iPhone 4S and 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4).

With its high room-level accuracy, LoCo can enable many new services, especially those that support collaboration. For instance, LoCo can enhance existing communication (e.g. Skype) and presence systems (such as MyUnity) to provide more precise understanding of availability. Perhaps even more important, LoCo provides a framework to study collaborative behavior in settings like the workplace without imposing a heavy burden on users (from their perspective, it is simply an app on their smartphone.)

Related Publications

2016
Publication Details
  • Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (Springer)
  • Feb 19, 2016

Abstract

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In recent years, there has been an explosion of services that lever- age location to provide users novel and engaging experiences. However, many applications fail to realize their full potential because of limitations in current location technologies. Current frameworks work well outdoors but fare poorly indoors. In this paper we present LoCo, a new framework that can provide highly accurate room-level indoor location. LoCo does not require users to carry specialized location hardware—it uses radios that are present in most contemporary devices and, combined with a boosting classification technique, provides a significant runtime performance improvement. We provide experiments that show the combined radio technique can achieve accuracy that improves on current state-of-the-art Wi-Fi only techniques. LoCo is designed to be easily deployed within an environment and readily leveraged by application developers. We believe LoCo’s high accuracy and accessibility can drive a new wave of location-driven applications and services.
2014
Publication Details
  • Ubicomp 2014
  • Sep 9, 2014

Abstract

Close
In recent years, there has been an explosion of social and collaborative applications that leverage location to provide users novel and engaging experiences. Current location technologies work well outdoors but fare poorly indoors. In this paper we present LoCo, a new framework that can provide highly accurate room-level location using a supervised classification scheme. We provide experiments that show this technique is orders of magnitude more efficient than current state-of-the-art Wi- Fi localization techniques. Low classification overhead and computational footprint make classification practical and efficient even on mobile devices. Our framework has also been designed to be easily deployed and lever- aged by developers to help create a new wave of location- driven applications and services.