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Location-based mobile app development and Bluetooth-based asset tracking with Meridian. Gathering analytics and business intelligence from Wi-Fi with Analytics and Location Engine (ALE).
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FTM and Airwave Visual RF

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  • 1.  FTM and Airwave Visual RF

    Posted Sep 06, 2023 01:07 PM

    Am I correct in assuming that if the 'FTM Responder' is enabled that the location of a client device would be more accurate within Visual RF on Airwave? (Assuming that the AP's are accurately placed.) Or would a separate program have to be implemented to interpret the FTM data from client devices?

  • 2.  RE: FTM and Airwave Visual RF

    Posted Sep 07, 2023 03:25 AM

    No, Airwave Visual RF does not support/use FTM information. In addition, FTM responder mode is used to allow clients to measure their relative distance to APs in range, enabling more accurate Wi-Fi based indoor navigation, not Wi-Fi client tracking. 

    Yes, a separate app/program is required, for example, if an FTM enabled client has an app installed that uses FTM to determine its position, this can be used to track the client's position history by sending it back to a backend system. This is how some of our technology partners' tracking solutions work. 

    Here is a demonstration of FTM-based indoor navigation:

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Location™ capabilities demonstrated at Lisbon member event

    We have also recently added this capability to our Meridian SDK:
    Meridian SDK - Using-Fine-Time-Measurement-FTM

    We are also using FTM as part of our Open Locate imitative and upcoming Self-Locating APs capabilities with Aruba Central:
    Self-Locating Wireless Access Points Solution Overview

    [ATM 22] Discover Aruba Open Locate, the first self-locating wireless network

  • 3.  RE: FTM and Airwave Visual RF

    Posted Sep 07, 2023 10:15 AM

    Thank you so much for this information. I'm aware of Open Locate and think that is a phenomenal tool to be able to obtain the location of AP's which would assist with FTM for clients.

    I'm wanting to find a means of better tracking the location of client devices in a warehouse to limit loss of equipment. The current method of locating a device (in terms of Visual RF / other WiFi tracking means) is by just looking at Visual RF and only getting a rough estimate of where a device might be. However, this is only helpful if the device is actually online and isn't very accurate, ~10m is a big range when you're talking about a device that's a little bigger than a smartphone. I've looked at Aruba Tags however those could be easily removed (either by user or wear and tear) and the 10 foot accuracy is better but it would be nice to be at that 'FTM' level of accuracy (~1-2m).

    Implementing an RTLS system would be very costly because it would require tags, beacons/receivers, and software. I'm not completely opposed to any option but I would like to narrow down a few 'top' candidates of tracking these clients while also having geofencing and historical data.

  • 4.  RE: FTM and Airwave Visual RF

    Posted Sep 11, 2023 08:35 AM

    Going down to 1 m accuracy or less is difficult and usually requires technologies like FTM (Fine-Time-Measurement),  Angle of Arrival (AoA) or Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA). There are RTLS solutions out there on the market using UWB or BLE to achieve it but as you said they are costly requiring dedicated tags and receivers/sensors. 

    With RSSI based RSSI you can achieve 3-5 m accuracy, may be up to 2 m, depending on the environment and the RTLS solution. Here we are working with Technology Partners (https://www.arubanetworks.com/partners/technology-partners/partner-finder/) who leverage the Aruba BLE radio as sensors for their RTLS solution. 
    I suggest to take a look if one of these partners may be able to fulfill your requirements before you start developing something on your own. 

    If you decide to develop your own solution you could also leverage the Aruba APs as sensors using any 3rd party BLE tag for asset tracking.