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Fraunhofer WLAN localization system: First applications on the way


After a year of successful operation in Nuremberg, Germany, the WLAN localization system developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) is being launched in combination with the first applications for end users, i.e. nearly everyone with a WLAN-capable smartphone or PDA.

Dr Gerhard Baier, managing director of IT2media, a subsidiary of the Nuremberg-based telephone directory publisher Hans Müller, comments: “Together with Fraunhofer IIS we will now be able to offer a complete range of applications for download from April, thus providing, e.g., general local information as well as information on nearby businesses such as cafés, restaurants, banks and hospitals along with direct dial phone numbers and other background information.” Gerhard Baier, partner in the Fraunhofer IIS WLAN localization testbed, sees this as just the beginning: “Other applications will soon follow. Anyone who has ever got lost while shopping will greet the new navigation technology for pedestrians. Pull out the mobile phone and it tells you where you are and how you can find the place you were looking for, your favourite café etc. You can also call a taxi to pick you up, find out about tourist attractions in the vicinity or check when and where the next underground train is going.”

But what makes the Fraunhofer IIS localization system unique in comparison with other localization solutions? After all navigation is currently possible with many mobile phones.

– The Fraunhofer WLAN localization solution is the only WLAN localization system that works autonomously on the user device. Hence there is no centralized localization; the position is only known to the user.

– Fraunhofer IIS is working in the field of “seamless navigation”, i.e. the combination of technologies such as GPS, GALILEO, WLAN localization and inertial sensors to produce a localization system which functions everywhere all the time.

The WLAN localization test environment is currently being expanded to include major cities such as Munich and Berlin. Other cities, even in other European countries, will follow. Through an open consortium the Fraunhofer IIS testbed for WLAN localization allows partners and users to participate in the early stages of the technology development. To allow integration of these new functions into other applications, even without any special knowledge, Fraunhofer IIS and partners supply the corresponding software libraries, functions and development support for the various mobile devices.

Further information can be found at,

The new localization technology will be demonstrated at the following events:
– GSMA Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 16 – 19 February 2009, hall 1, booth 1G49
– embedded world 2009, Nuremberg, Germany, 3 – 5 March 2009, hall 12, booth 12-110
– CeBIT 2009, Hannover, Germany, 3 – 8 March 2009, hall 9, booth B36


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