IoT Company Enhances Services with Location Technology Using GNSS, Wi-Fi and Cellular - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

IoT Company Enhances Services with Location Technology Using GNSS, Wi-Fi and Cellular

Alps Alpine, a manufacturer of electronic components and automotive infotainment systems with an extensive involvement in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, has chosen Skyhook, a location technology provider, to roll out its precision positioning technology in Alps Alpine’s IoT devices and services. This will furnish enhance the user experience for enterprises and institutions that need to know the exact location of devices in order to manage and operate them, according to the two companies.

Skyhook’s provision of accurate location regardless of environmental interference such as in underground tunnels or densely populated cities, reveals its value when when analyzing efficient transportation of materials, ensuring timeliness of the supply chain, and locating large pallets or bins within a warehouse. Skyhook’s Precision Location hybrid positioning employs Wi-Fi, GNSS and cell signals, ensuring that devices such as asset trackers can be located in all environments. The technology locates devices in LPWAN-limited networks like Sigfox using 12 bytes of payload only, in a power-efficient manner, allowing devices to be in service for longer periods with a single battery.

MonoTra Location Tracking Service

Alps Alpine has developed MonoTra, a cloud service that improves the accuracy of Wi-Fi access point position data and simplifies system development and operation by customers. It enables accurate location of items that move both indoors and outdoors and are not always in a reliable communication environment. Location accuracy is improved by the Skyhook Wireless service launched in March = for use with the Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker logistics asset tracking device. Deployment of the service improves the accuracy of Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker location data and simplifies system development and operation as part of a logistics asset management solution providing enhanced quality and ease of use for customers.

A Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker determines the location of a logistics asset using the MAC addresses, unique identifiers assigned to each network device, of Wi-Fi access points. MonoTra accesses Skyhook data on more than 5.4 billion Wi-Fi access points worldwide. Customers also receive a private database for registering their own Wi-Fi access point position information, allowing even greater accuracy improvements.

MonoTra simplifies and streamlines the system development process for customers. It makes cumbersome tasks such as entering a network contract, registering devices and building a data acquisition system unnecessary. An original application programming interface (API) providing already-processed data is also available, making it easier for customers to visualize information provided by the tracking devices.

More than 250,000 units of the Long-Lifetime Asset Tracker have been deployed to a large number of corporations outside Japan, including one of Europe’s leading logistics firms, and domestically to AGC Inc. for tracking pallets used in the transportation of glass. Alps Alpine will explore other potential applications of the service that might benefit from highly accurate position information from Wi-Fi® access points.