Hybrid indoor and outdoor location services for new generation mobile terminals
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In the last years, an increasing interest in location services characterized the market of mobile ubiquitous devices (smartphones, handhelds, etc.). Several technologies and solutions have been developed to determine the position of mobile devices in their operating space, each with its specific degree of precision and accuracy. In this scenario, the ideal location service should be able of tracking the mobile terminal in any place it moves to, both indoors and outdoors. However, while outdoor location services have already achieved a satisfactory degree of technological maturity and effectiveness, a really ubiquitous location service that works satisfactorily in both indoor and outdoor scenarios is not yet available. In order to cope with the above challenge, this work proposes a hybrid location approach designed to choose and switch among multiple positioning technologies supported by the mobile device and available in the surrounding environment, in a dynamic and transparent way during the user movement. It combines signal strength–based fingerprinting techniques for indoor positioning together with traditional GPS-based positioning for the outdoor localization and performs opportunistic technology switching according to a count-and-threshold mechanism. The resulting solution is able to leverage the different features of the wireless networks and of the global positioning technologies, in order to provide ubiquitous location services across indoor and outdoor scenarios, as well as to minimize power consumption of the mobile device.