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Open AccessArticle

ThingsLocate: A ThingSpeak-Based Indoor Positioning Platform for Academic Research on Location-Aware Internet of Things

Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Rome, Italy
Department of Mobile Systems and Analytics, Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering, Pilestredet 52, 0167 Oslo, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Technologies 2019, 7(3), 50;
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology Advances on IoT Learning and Teaching)
Seamless location awareness is considered a cornerstone in the successful deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT). Support for IoT devices in indoor positioning platforms and, vice versa, availability of indoor positioning functions in IoT platforms, are however still in their early stages, posing a significant challenge in the study and research of the interaction of indoor positioning and IoT. This paper proposes a new indoor positioning platform, called ThingsLocate, that fills this gap by building upon the popular and flexible ThingSpeak cloud service for IoT, leveraging its data input and data processing capabilities and, most importantly, its native support for cloud execution of Matlab code. ThingsLocate provides a flexible, user-friendly WiFi fingerprinting indoor positioning service for IoT devices, based on Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) information. The key components of ThingsLocate are introduced and described: RSSI channels used by IoT devices to provide WiFi RSSI data, an Analysis app estimating the position of the device, and a Location channel to publish such estimate. A proof-of-concept implementation of ThingsLocate is then introduced, and used to show the possibilities offered by the platform in the context of graduate studies and academic research on indoor positioning for IoT. Results of an experiment enabled by ThingsLocate with limited setup and no coding effort are presented, focusing on the impact of using different devices and different positioning algorithms on positioning accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: IoT; indoor positioning; WiFi fingerprinting IoT; indoor positioning; WiFi fingerprinting
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De Nardis, L.; Caso, G.; Di Benedetto, M.G. ThingsLocate: A ThingSpeak-Based Indoor Positioning Platform for Academic Research on Location-Aware Internet of Things. Technologies 2019, 7, 50.

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