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Take GPS Indoors

Indoor Positioning

Rosum, Siano Introduce ALLOY Chip Using TV Signals to Take GPS Indoors

March 1, 2010

Rosum Corporation announced today the launch of ALLOY, a location and synchronization solution for indoor and urban environments.  The ALLOY chip, which was developed in partnership with Siano — supplier of mobile digital TV receiver chips for handsets, laptops, PNDs, and other mobile devices — uses broadcast TV signals to provide precise frequency, timing, and location information.

According to Rosum, the chip opens up a multitude of new commercial opportunities by enabling femtocell synchronization and location, tracking of people and assets, and localized advertising over mobile TV devices in deep indoor locations such as shopping malls, hotels, campuses, and factories with seamless delivery leveraging broadcast TV signals.
Traditional positioning systems are satellite-based, designed for outdoor applications and have limitations both indoors and in urban environments. The ALLOY  client combines the ALLOY chip with a high-sensitivity assisted GPS chip into a tightly coupled hybrid TV-GPS solution which works across all types of environments: rural, suburban, urban, and indoor.  Broadcast TV signals have a 100,000x power margin advantage over GPS, and this extends location and synchronization capabilities deep into buildings and urban environments.
According to Dominique Bonte, Practice Director, Telematics and Navigation, for ABI Research, the market for wireless location-based applications is expected to reach $14.5 billion in 2014. “The success of these applications will depend on the pervasive availability of the location technologies that enable them. Alternative positioning technologies such as ALLOY are critical (in addressing the limitations of GPS)."
“Femtozone location-based applications provide an enhanced value proposition in addition to the voice and data services that are being currently rolled out. By 2014, ABI Research expects 40 million unit shipments for femtocells. This presents an exciting market opportunity for innovative solutions like those from Rosum that solve problems of indoor positioning and synchronization, which are critical for mass-market femtocell deployment,” said Aditya Kaul, practice director, Mobile Networks for ABI Research.

Applications of ALLOY include femtocell synchronization and location, indoor and urban tracking of people and assets, and location-based services and advertising for mobile TV devices. Specific examples:

  • Femtocells require accurate timing, frequency and location for quick start-up, interference management, and E911 location. Competing solutions can require 60-90 minutes or more to start-up and require placement by the window. ALLOY reduces this time dramatically (typically three minutes) and extends coverage deep indoors, where femtocells are most valuable.
  • Tracking service providers require continuous tracking across all environments — outdoor, indoor, and urban.  High-value assets and people tend to be indoors or in urban areas where GPS signals are often unavailable, but TV signals are abundant. ALLOY keeps assets and people under monitoring in areas where GPS-based solutions fail.
  • Mobile services and advertisements are worth more when they are based on the precise location of the customer’s handset even when indoors, such as inside malls, campuses, etc.  Location-enabled TV provides a platform for new and expanded revenue streams for broadcasters and carriers.

“Rosum’s technology opens a new era in location-based applications and services,” said Alon Ironi, CEO of Siano. “Our cooperation with Rosum will enable every user of a handheld device to not only watch TV everywhere, but also benefit from an abundance of location-based services everywhere, even where the line-of-sight to the global positioning satellites is blocked.”
“Siano’s high-performance, low-power Mobile DTV solution is the ideal platform for effective deployment of Rosum TV-location technology,” said Todd Young, VP Business Development of Rosum.  “Partnering with Siano puts our robust location technology in an easy-to-integrate form factor for device makers worldwide.”

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  • Hey Jim, just wanted to ask your opinion since you seem to be experienced at the GPS aspect of data collection. I believe I read you have an Ashtek or Promark and was wondering what you thought of the reliability and performance and if there is much of a learning curve involved. Also do you have experience with any other models. Our company is looking into purchasing an RTK system and I believe the owner is looking at the Sokkia. Also wondering what you might know about using a reference station with a receiver verses using a base station and one or two rovers. I know there is a monthly charge for access to the reference station. If anyone else would like to comment also it would be great to have a few other opinions.
  • very interesting, i've been saying for a while that 'cheating' with the GPS is going to get a whole lot better in the distant future. I always get told that no it can't work under trees or next to buildings, carparks etc we'll always need to use the jigga, I reckon its just a matter of time, tech moves pretty quick in this field..
  • really interesting, heavily forested area is a nightmare for GPS users and this thing will surely help ease some annoyment. where are you getting these information jim, God bless
    • Ronnie I am a subscriber to GPS world and reviw. I get alerts everytime a GPS dream becomes a reality. So then I share it with my GPS Pros.

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