InvisiTrack launch super-accurate GPS alternative

Mar 24, 2010
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We're already familiar with GPS and pseudo-GPS triangulation technologies, that use cellphone towers or known WiFi base stations to figure out roughly where you are, but InvisiTrack reckon they can use spectrum bands more commonly found carrying TV signals to pinpoint position down to under 3m indoors or 1m outdoors.  Their InvisiTrack LS system relies on the fact that the 512 and 698 MHz bands can better penetrate through walls and other structures than higher-frequency bands like the 2.4GHz used for WiFi.

Unfortunately, while the press release makes it sound like InvisiTrack uses actual TV broadcasts for triangulation, in actual fact you'll need both a new receiver in your mobile device and to be near at least two transmitters to go with it.  Still, in ad-hoc mode the receivers themselves act as transmitters, creating a mesh network from which position of all involved can be extrapolated from just one location lock.  While 10-times the range of existing triangulation systems sounds great on paper, we'll wait until InvisiTrack LS gets picked up by mobile device manufacturers before we get too excited.

Press Release:

InvisiTrack™ Utilizes TV Bands to Bring Accurate Location Positioning Indoors

Introducing InvisiTrack Location System (LS) – The World’s First Accurate and Reliable Indoor/Outdoor Low-Frequency Location Positioning, Ranging and Navigation Solution That Requires No Fixed Infrastructure

CTIA Wireless 2010
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--InvisiTrack, Inc. today announced its InvisiTrack™ Location System (LS), the world’s first accurate and reliable indoor/outdoor location positioning, ranging and navigation solution that requires no fixed infrastructure for effective operation. InvisiTrack LS is available now for integration with mobile phones and TV band-based products.

“We started InvisiTrack with a vision for creating a location technology that provides accurate location fixes with equal effectiveness both indoors and outdoors, enabling users to navigate seamlessly between both environments”
InvisiTrack LS advances the state-of-the-art in location positioning technology by maximizing the superior propagation characteristics of low-frequency radio signals to provide accurate and reliable location fixes indoors. This solution differs from legacy location methods, such as those designed to work with Cell-ID, GPS, A-GPS and Wi-Fi signals, which do not provide accurate and reliable location fixes indoors due to limitations imposed by the propagation characteristics of high–frequency radio signals.

GPS enables users to navigate to the main address of a shopping mall; LBS can provide a list of what or who is inside. InvisiTrack LS vastly improves this experience by enabling users to navigate to their destinations inside the shopping mall and find whomever or whatever they are looking for. InvisiTrack LS also enables mobile network operators and online advertisers to deliver precisely targeted location-based advertisements, finally making possible effective pay-per-walk-by advertising.

In 2008, the FCC opened up sections of radio frequency spectrum, called TV bands, for public use. TV bands between 512 and 698 MHz offer significant benefits for location positioning and tracking indoors, compared with higher frequency services like Wi-Fi, operating at 2.4 GHz. TV bands provide increased range for signal propagation and detection, leading to significantly greater effectiveness at penetrating buildings and other large structures. InvisiTrack LS utilizes TV bands to increase signal range by up to a factor of ten over that of legacy location methods, to work in many environments where higher frequency solutions do not, and to provide accurate location fixes with resolutions of less than 3 meters indoors and 1 meter outdoors without need for fixed infrastructure.

The InvisiTrack research and development team has taken a unique approach in developing InvisiTrack LS, basing it on three complementary innovations, each of which is patented (or has patents pending) in the U.S., Europe and Asia:

Narrow Bandwidth Ranging: To maximize performance in challenging outdoor environments and improve location accuracy indoors, InvisiTrack developed a range-signal boosting technology that enables InvisiTrack LS to operate at up to 10 times greater range than other location methods in use today This patented hardware and software technique enables InvisiTrack LS to make accurate distance measurements by using narrow bandwidth ranging signals, thus allowing use of low-frequency radio bands, such as VHF and UHF TV bands, while maintaining compliance with FCC regulations.
Multipath Error Correction: One of the foremost problems when attempting to navigate in metropolitan areas with buildings and other large structures that reflect radio signals is an effect known as multipath error propagation, a leading cause of inaccurate location readings. InvisiTrack LS overcomes this problem by using a unique signal design and high-resolution maximum likelihood estimate methods to calculate the precise range between InvisiTrack LS-enabled devices even if the devices are separated by obstacles, such as walls, floors, buildings and other reflective structures. This method is asynchronous and does not require fixed infrastructure for accessing and maintaining a synchronized clock source.
Virtual Triangulation: By simply moving an InvisiTrack LS-enabled device, such as a smartphone, the user establishes virtual points in space. InvisiTrack LS uses these points to triangulate the position of a tracked target. Virtual Triangulation supports applications requiring both 2D (i.e., latitude and longitude) and 3D (i.e., latitude, longitude and altitude) coordinates, and produces accurate location positioning when using as few as two InvisiTrack LS-enabled devices, unlike other location methods that require three or more clock-synchronized signal points of reference for operation.
“We started InvisiTrack with a vision for creating a location technology that provides accurate location fixes with equal effectiveness both indoors and outdoors, enabling users to navigate seamlessly between both environments,” said Russ Markhovsky, Founder and CEO, InvisiTrack, Inc. “With InvisiTrack Location System, not only have we created ‘The Last Mile of GPS’, but we’ve also opened the door to an entirely new genre of location-based services that will bring new utility to consumers and will tap new revenue streams for first market-mover companies making effective use of the technology.”

A unique feature of InvisiTrack LS is its ability to operate flexibly in ad hoc/mesh and fixed/mesh configurations with encrypted and unencrypted signaling options, supporting a range of location-based services benefitting consumers and businesses, as well as public safety and other government organizations.

Mobile devices configured with InvisiTrack LS offer vast improvements in location functionality, including location positioning, ranging and navigation with seamless traversal indoors and outdoors—notably in areas where legacy location methods have not been effective.

Additional information is provided on the InvisiTrack Web site at www.invisitrack.com.

About InvisiTrack:

Founded in 2005 with support from the State of Maryland and the University of Maryland, InvisiTrack is creator of advanced location positioning, ranging and tracking technologies, including InvisiTrack Location System (LS), the world’s first accurate indoor/outdoor location positioning, ranging and tracking. InvisiTrack is working with leading mobile handset manufacturers, network operators and service providers to bring a new genre of location-based services to consumers, enterprises and government agencies.


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