Indoor positioning for smartphones using asynchronous ultrasound trilateration

Viacheslav Filonenko, Charlie Cullen, James D. Carswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Modern smartphones are a great platform for Location Based Services (LBS). While outdoor LBS for smartphones has proven to be very successful, indoor LBS for smartphones has not yet fully developed due to the lack of an accurate positioning technology. In this paper we present an accurate indoor positioning approach for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) smartphones that uses the innate ability of mobile phones to produce ultrasound, combined with Time-Difference-of-Arrival (TDOA) asynchronous trilateration. We evaluate our indoor positioning approach by describing its strengths and weaknesses, and determine its absolute accuracy. This is accomplished through a range of experiments that involve variables such as position of control point microphones, position of phone within the room, direction speaker is facing and presence of user in the signal path. Test results show that our Lok8 (locate) mobile positioning system can achieve accuracies better than 10 cm in a real-world environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-620
Number of pages23
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • mobile indoor positioning
  • ultrasound
  • LBS
  • least squares trilateration
  • TDOA


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