Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacon-Based Micro-Positioning for Pedestrians Using Smartphones in Urban Environments



  • In recent years, smartphones have become ubiquitous among all age groups. Millions of people are now using the Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled devices for daily activities. However, the horizontal position errors of GPS are not negligible in many cases. For example, the signal unavailability or limited signal in the GPS denied environment, in large and crowded structures around the users, during the environmental disaster, etc., often affect the accuracy of GPS for ordinary users. To this end, we developed a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon-based system for positioning in the urban environment using smartphones, with pedestrians as primary users. The proposed architecture improves the horizontal error by 10–40% based on the environments and positions. To demonstrate the feasibility, we implemented a testbed in the urban environment. Though beacons have been used indoors for various research and commercial use, we have conducted our research in the outdoor environment and empirically discuss the challenges and solutions.
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  • 135
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