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California startup develops WiFi location positioning for myriad sectors

Locix LPS is a full-stack solution for real-time location determination of WiFi-enabled devices such as asset trackers, mobile phones, IoT sensors

Locix, founded in 2014, has developed an ultra-precise WiFi based Local Positioning System (LPS) for industrial and commercial applications.  Due to the cost-effectiveness of WiFi, Locix WiFi-based LPS enables a new capability for spatial awareness and a broad range of new spatially intelligent mobile applications.

The company develops cloud-based spatial intelligence solutions for commercial buildings, consumer homes and connected devices – digitizing the physical world.  Its solutions capture location, visual and sensor data and combine them with advanced data analytics to provide spatial awareness and enable actionable insights for automated decision making.

Murata Manufacturing, Prologis and Imagination Technology are among its main partners. Locix has partnered with Murata for the development, manufacturing, and supply of WiFi-based modules that are integrated into Locix WiFi stations and trackers. Using Locix LPS, Prologis wants to optimize and improve warehouse distribution space utilization with real time and spatial context, while also using the context to make actionable decisions. The company also works with and has investor relationships with iRobot, YE Digital Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, and NTT Docomo.

“Locix LPS has a large opportunity to provide indoor positioning technology in the consumer world – for more accurate indoor location and indoor navigation in places like malls and airports, integration in smart home devices and appliances for frictionless set-up and configuration”, says Vik Pavate, CEO, Locix in an interview with Geospatial World

Vik Pavate, CEO, Locix

Tell us more about the key features of Locix, and which all sectors would it cater to?

Key features of the Locix LPS are as follows:

  • LPS Cloud to analyze spatial data using proprietary localization and tracking algorithms to accurately locate and track WiFi devices.
  • Locix WiFi-based location anchor stations to facilitate turnkey installation and deployment.
  • Locix’s battery powered WiFi based trackers (enabled by Locix WiFi 802.11.ac SoC, inertial sensors, and ultra-low power wireless network) to locate workers, industrial assets and mobile equipment .
  • Support for WiFi-enabled devices such as, IoT sensors, appliances, and mobile phones.

Locix LPS enables distribution centers, logistics facilities and factories to accurately locate and analyze the use of workers, material handling assets, and high-value items to increase supply chain visibility and improve operational productivity and efficiency in indoor environments.

Locix LPS also allows enterprises to become spatially aware of their commercial buildings and resources allowing them to accurately assess space and asset utilization. Integration of Locix LPS into commercial building infrastructure (e.g. HVA, Lighting) will enable smart buildings by allowing improved ease of configuration, management and operation.  Integration of accurate location of smart building sensors, infrastructure, and consumer devices (with user opt-in applications) will allow unprecedented benefits for users in terms of comfort, safety and productivity. Locix LPS can be used in hospitals to accurately locate and track key assets and resources improving efficiency and productivity.

How would Locix ensure accuracy?

LPS technology leverages the combination of proprietary algorithms (incl. ranging, localization, and tracking) and higher bandwidth WiFi to correct for issues common in complex indoor spaces, namely reflections, absorption and bandwidth limitations.  Using these algorithms, Locix has managed to increase the accuracy of its system while significantly reducing outliers. In real-world deployments (industrial and commercial buildings), Locix LPS has now been demonstrated to achieve 10X improved accuracy over alternative wireless solutions such as WiFi and BLE.

What are the main challenges faced by the indoor positioning sector?

The two main challenges faced by the indoor positioning sector are performance and affordability. Existing WiFi and BLE based solutions are inaccurate while emerging UWB based solutions are expensive and difficult to deploy.  Locix has aimed to tackle the price/performance problem using its LPS technology, which is going to be a key player in the growth of the indoor positioning market, projected to reach $43.51 billion by 2025.

Do you think 5G and IoT would disrupt the location segment?

5G has the potential to increase bandwidth and expand wireless coverage in indoor and outdoor spaces. Locix LPS solutions are compatible with emerging 5G infrastructure deployment to provide a complete solution that covers all environments.

Additionally, we expect IoT to further enhance and drive the location segment as oppose to disrupt it.  The sprawl of internet-connected devices has made management and configuration quite difficult.  Adding location capabilities to these devices, whether they be laptops, light switches, or industrial bar code scanners, will make them more usable for consumers and enterprises alike.

What are advantages that Locix offers over other location tracking methods?

Locix largest advantage is that it leverages industry-standard WiFi for its core platform while achieving sub-meter accuracy in real-world environments.  WiFi technology is now omnipresent in society, yet to date there have not been any technologies that have demonstrated high accuracy for indoor positioning. Locix was only able to use this ubiquitous standard due to its ability to get sub-meter accuracy through the elimination of reflections, absorption and compensating for non-line of sight scenarios using our patented algorithms.  Leveraging WiFi allows Locix LPS to achieve substantial ease and flexibility of deployment and lower cost of ownership compared to alternative location tracking methods.