Indoor Positioning System

Filling in the location gaps


sensewhere’s indoor positioning system (IPS) determines indoor positioning on a mobile device using available signals from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and motion sensors. The mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) and cloud-based servers use automatic crowdsourcing to build a global database of transmitter locations in order to extend indoor coverage and improve accuracy.

Indoor Positioning

GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) including Galileo, GLONASS, and BeiDou, have been deployed to provide location information for vehicles and mobile devices around the world. In order to work accurately, line-of-sight visibility to sufficient number of satellites is required. Indoor environments such as malls, airports, hospitals and stadiums – or even built-up urban areas – are GPS black spots.

That’s where sensewhere comes in. Our innovative technology provides universal location and navigation data where GPS signals are blocked – filling the gap. sensewhere has developed proprietary and patented technology for positioning when indoors using existing Wi-Fi and BLE signals and sensors including barometer on mobile devices. The result is accurate positioning throughout indoor venues. The automatic crowdsourcing builds a global database of transmitter locations for the most complete positioning coverage indoors, all using anonymous privacy compliant data.

sensewhere has a hybrid approach for indoor positioning. The Android system uses both Wi-Fi signals and BLE beacon signals for indoor absolute positioning. The iOS version is dependent on BLE beacons for indoor absolute positioning. sensewhere algorithms use GPS signals when available for positioning and for calibrating the location of Wi-Fi and BLE beacon transmitters. Motion sensors are used for relative positioning and for detecting motion. The result is a continuous estimate of position that is seamless between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The end-to-end system has been deployed at scale to handle billions of location requests. Recent innovations include the addition of simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) techniques to improve the positioning accuracy and identify traffic areas. Also, the system is capable of computing discrete position or a continuous track of positions.

Mobile SDK

The sensewhere SDK for mobile platforms can be integrated into existing or new mobile applications. The SDK is currently available for Android and iOS and has been designed for easy integration into mobile applications with flexibility for the developer to control various parameters affecting position accuracy, data usage and power consumption. The SDK has been used successfully in consumer mobile applications with hundreds of millions of active users. The server component of the solution is live and managed by sensewhere. sensewhere SDK can also be deployed at silicon or OS layers.

Cloud Services

The sensewhere IPS is distributed between a mobile client device and a server in the network cloud. The server components manage communications with the device and record position data sourced from the crowd of users. The proprietary and patented algorithms then process the logs to create a location database of Wi-Fi and BLE transmitter locations indoors and out. Over time the system grows in coverage, improves in accuracy, and automatically corrects and adjusts when transmitters are moved or added.

The sensewhere cloud system has been deployed for high volume usage. The sensewhere team monitors and manages these systems with intelligent dashboards showing load levels, response times, and database activity. The high reliability system can be scaled to meet the growing demands of the global crowd.

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Mobile marketing context and targeting

Improve context detection by expanding coverage inside malls, airports, and other public venues to develop more accurate personas. Expand audience through nationwide coverage of location-based targeting and mobile attribution. Understand shopping behaviors through footfall and traffic analytics.

Venue services

Deliver relevant suggestions and offers to visitors about products and services, and assist visitors in finding shops and restaurants. Improve business intelligence capability for shopping centres, retail outlets, and terminals through footfall, dwell, and transaction analysis.

Fraud detection and analytics

Use completely independent positioning source to validate GPS location data and flag potential fraud cases in ride sharing, gaming, and other mobile apps.

Social networking

Find friends and family and improve status check-in suggestions inside shops, restaurants, airports and other public venues.

Mobile gaming

Add indoor positioning to location-based games to extend game play experiences inside public venues to increase engagement and social interaction.

Mapping, search, directions

Find the nearest shop or service inside and get walking directions on indoor maps.


  • Power efficient hybrid positions solution – uses best available positioning source while managing power consumption.

  • Broadest coverage through automatic crowdsourcing – learns locations throughout indoor venues where the SDK is used enabling true nationwide indoor coverage.

  • Uses existing hardware to minimize investment – no additional beacons or other transmitters to install.


The sensewhere mobile SDK for indoor positioning is available for both Android and iOS platforms.

Indoor positioning accuracy: <10 m with adequate crowdsourcing.

Time to First Fix (TTFF): <1 second

Data size: 650 bytes per location request and response

Power consumption: <1% of daily battery capacity

Coverage: indoor venues worldwide with adequate crowdsourcing

Software solution: requires no hardware changes in handset, network, or venue

Hybrid approach: detects all available location technologies and utilizes the best for the environment

Open platform: supports various mapping and 3rd party solutions and can be integrated into existing or new applications