Tuesday, August 09, 2011

WiFi expert - context aware browsing

Indoor positioning at this moment is a hot area for LBS applications. There is no common denominator for indoor location but technically WiFi based solutions are probably prevail.

WiFi approach for indoor positioning is always based on the net of basic nodes (WiFi tags for example) with known location. Based on that we can deploy some triangulation for getting position for our WiFi device. Actually, it is similar to cell-id, where WiFi tags play the role of base stations.

So, the main problem is the need for some preliminary preparation steps for WiFi network we are going to use for indoor positioning. And what if we need some dynamic solutions? It is actually a starting point for our SpotEx (Spot expert) project.

What if we will take from traditional indoor positioning systems the first step only – WiFi networks detection? And as the second step we will add the ability describe some content that depends on the WiFi networks visibility. We will get some kind of context aware браузер – our user will see content depends on the exiting WiFi points. Actually, we can add rules for the visibility where we can use WiFi, time, probability, history of access etc.

We do not need in this case any preliminary preparation for that network. We can proceed even dynamically added nodes. For example, WiFi access point we can associate our rules with could be WiFi access point opened by demand right on the another mobile phone.

Once again – it is not about access to some WiFi network. Access point could be protected and closed for public access. The only thing Spot Expert is based on is its visibility. Access point plays a role of sensor (trigger) here. If our mobile user can see that network he/she is nearby.

Current implementation provides Android application for end users and web client (including mobile web) for creating rules and setting content nodes. See site Spot expert site for details and downloading application.

A side effect - WiFi chat. Here the available elements of content are web chat and discussion groups connected to some visible Wi-Fi access point. Suppose we have some WiFi network in train (bus etc.) WiFi chat application provides communication tools for people in the net’s area. You can see more details here WiFi chat.

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