The Inquirer-Home

Wireless LAN knows where you are

Big Brother wirelessly
Tue Oct 26 2004, 14:33
IT HAD TO happen. Wireless LAN specialist, Airespace, has developed a system using regular Wi-Fi that can pinpoint you to within ten metres. Its Wireless Location Services (WLS) using a technique known as RF (radio frequency) pinpointing.

According to Airespace's Jeff Aaron, other location methods have far less accuracy. He pointed out that using triangulation from base stations doesn't always work because a Wi-Fi user could be standing feet away from a base station but doesn't get a strong signal because there's a wall in the way. RF fingerprinting takes the geography of a building into account.

Wi-Fi location technology has plenty of uses - one of which is for security. With an accuracy of 10 metres, Airespace can tell a network operator exactly which booth a person is sitting in when they plug in an unauthorised base station or Wi-Fi card.

Better still, with such high accuracy it is more than up to the job of helping out e911 (emergency) style services. Airepsace has been using WLS in conjunction with RFID tags to help a hospital locate exactly where its wheelchairs are when they go AWOL. µ


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