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Location tracking whitepaper

How can we better our logistics using SimpleHw devices?

SimplePack can provide location services with accuracies ranging from 1 kilometre to 2 metres and with a battery life span between 2 and 10 years.

At the same time it can alert on temperature, inclination, drop, light and/or reed sensors.

 

It is always critically important to carry out proper use case and business case discovery and definition before starting to look for any specific device setting/mode.

 

All localisation services are a combination of business logic and the way the localisation is done.

We have designed the SimplePack user modes in a way they cover the business logic:

Press me

Guard me

Track me

Trace me

Don't drop me

Reed contact on/off

Light on/off

Temperature threshold alert

Temperature monitoring

 

Localisation within the Sigfox network can be done in many ways:

Sigfox Atlas only (~ km precision)

Default WiFi (using 2 messages and reporting 3 MAC addresses ~10-100m precision)

Sigfox WiFi Atlas (using 2 messages and reporting 2 MAC addresses ~50-100m precision)

Precision WiFi (using 1 message and reporting 5 MAC address pointers with RSSI ~ 2m precision)

 

There are 2 exceptions: Stupid modes not following the general API 6 rules for specific use cases:

  1. Stupid mode 1 (sending only 2 MAC adresses in message and triggered by time)
  2. Stupid mode 2 (sending null payload and triggered by time for Sigfox Atlas tracking)

 

Sigfox Atlas is supported in all devices.

WiFi modes are supported in devices equipped by WiFi module.

All the modes are switchable in real time using downlink.

Table (valid for SimplePack Plus 3.0):

Mode/
Mode type

Precision

Battery life
longevity

Event types

WiFi module needed

IOFrog support

Required Sigfox Tariff

Sigfox Atlas

500-1000 m

30 000 localisations

yes

no

yes

Atlas

Default WiFi

10-100 m

10 000 localisations

yes

yes

yes

no

Sigfox WiFi Atlas

10-100 m

10 000 localisations

yes

yes

yes

WiFi Atlas

Wifi Precise

<2m

20 000 localisations*

yes

yes

no

no

Stupid mode 1

100 m

20 000 localisations

no

yes

yes

WiFi Atlas

Stupid mode 2

1000 m

30 000 localisations

no

no

yes

Atlas

*localisations in limited areas 

Difference between Sigfox Atlas, Sigfox Atlas WiFi, Default WiFi and Precision:

Each has its advantages and disadvantages:

Atlas

Does not send any data through payload and is using the signal strength received by basestation to calculate the position.

Advantages:

  1. Zero energy consumption
  2. Works everywhere where is Sigfox
  3. No WiFi module needed
  4. Precise enough for most logistics use cases
  5. No additional costs for MAC address resolution

Disadvantages:

  1. Precision depends on density of Sigfox coverage (by how many base station the message was seen)
  2. Location can be skewed by large margin if the object is on a mountainside
  3. Costs additional fee on the Sigfox tariff 

Sigfox Atlas WiFi 

Uses 2 MAC addresses that they send to Here for resolution and you get coordinates right from the Sigfox callback

Advantages:

  1. Easy to implement
  2. Able to process the location if only one MAC address is available even they smudge the position in order not  precisely position the one MAC address for privacy reasons
  3. Automatic fallback to Sigfox Atlas
  4. In Stupid mode 1 only one message is needed to send the location

Disadvantages:

  1. You pay for Sigfox WiFi Atlas for all the messages, not only for those where you need to have high resolution
  2. If one MAC address is not relevant or in the database, the position is rather inaccurate
  3. Lower quality database of MAC addresses vs. Google
  4. No ability to send any additional information in the same message
  5. No ability to tag the message as the one containing 2 MAC addresses.

Default WiFi mode

Uses 3 MAC addresses in 2 messages with the ability to attach type of event

Advantages:

  1. Using 3 MAC addresses is more precise then 2
  2. If one MAC address is not relevant/not in the DB you can still resolve the remaining 2
  3. You pay for resolution only of needed messages
  4. You can preprocess and whitelist MAC addresses you know and pay only for the unknown
  5. You can use higher quality MAC database
  6. Messages are tagged so parser knows what they contain plus type of event is reported

Disadvantages:

  1. Customer application or IoT platform need to parse the message and call external API (e.g. Google)  for position resolution
  2. Always 2 messages are needed.
  3. If 2 MAC adresses are not relevant/in the dabase Google cannot resolve one MAC address for privacy reasons

Precision WiFi

Very special mode recording into the device the seen MAC addresses and instead of sending whole address for external resolution it is sending 6 pointers to MAC adresses plus RSSI enabling super high precision of around 2 metres in controlled environments like warehouses

Advantages:

  1. Ability to send 5 MAC addresses plus RSSI in one message
  2. Recording internally newly seen MAC addresses and sending them in uplinks to the IoT platform
  3. Ability to erase stored MAC via downlink
  4. No need to know the location of WiFi beacons, as the localisation uses fingerprinting
  5. WiFI beacons don't be connected to the Internet and can be a combination of public WiFI and private beacons
  6. Can be used even outside warehouse if the circulation of object is limited to a few places

Disadvantages:

  1. Needs application processing or IoT platform support (IoFrog platform support planned)
  2. Needs training/pressing the button at few locations in the warehouse to train the fingerprinting algorithm
  3. Not usable for long term cross country tracking (it would see and record too many MAC addresses)