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What is the different between GPS and indoor position?

Jul 06, 2024

The two most common types of positioning technology are the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS). They have the primary purpose of determining an object's location.  However, what is the different between GPS and IPS? The primary distinction between IPS and GPS lies in their respective fields of application. IPS is precisely designed for indoor environments, and the GPS is practically designed for outdoor spaces.


GPS is a well-established and widely used technology for outdoor location tracking. It relies on a network of satellites orbiting the Earth, continuously transmitting signals to GPS-enabled devices. These signals contain precise timing and positional information, allowing the devices to calculate their location based on the time it takes for the signals to reach them. As useful as GPSs are for outdoor tracking, they have failed to work inside. Since GPS technology uses the signals of satellites in orbit, these signals are seriously degraded by roofs and walls as soon as the satellite waves try to penetrate the barriers and enter the buildings. Therefore, GPS cannot obtain location information of indoor spaces and can only be accurate to specific blocks or buildings. It cannot identify a specific floor of a building, let alone distinguish between different stores.


IPS is designed to track and locate objects within enclosed spaces. It leverages various technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), and beacons to provide indoor location information. IPS gives you the ability to accurately pinpoint the location of objects inside a building. It is used to locate people or objects where GPS and other satellite technologies lack precision or fail entirely, such as shopping malls, airports, hospitals, warehouses, and underground locations, etc.


GPS, which delivers precise position outdoors based on satellite signals, is unrivaled in open environments. While IPS opened up a whole new world within indoor environments where GPS doesn’t work properly.


Indoor-Position-Function.jpg

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