On this page you will find an overview of the various technologies that can be used to offer location-based services. The term Location Dependent Services is used less frequently.
In addition to the established standards WLAN, Beacon technology and Bluetooth Low Energy technology, you will also find “exotics” such as positioning via magnetic field or ultra-wideband (UWB). Relatively new in the portfolio of technological possibilities are light navigation and audio beacons, which are no longer beacons in the sense of a physical transmitter device. Light navigation (Visible Light Communication) has only been developed to market readiness in recent years. As of summer 2017, Philips subsidiary Philips Lighting actually holds a monopoly, even if other suppliers such as Trilux want to follow suit. Philips has equipped several supermarkets in Europe with light navigation. Osram, which uses physical iBeacons in LED lamps, so-called embedded beacons, takes a different approach. Osram sells its Smart Positioning Solutions under the name “Einstone”. Even though the technologies are clearly listed individually, the trend in practice is to combine different technologies in order to compensate for the respective disadvantages. The decision which technology is chosen also depends very much on the environment in which the location-based services are to be offered. A multi-storey shopping centre has different architectural requirements than a steel cruise ship or an exhibition hall in which individual stands are separated by lightweight construction. Apart from the desired positioning accuracy, wall thickness and material are major influencing factors. How sensitive some of the signals already react to the smallest interference factors can be read in the section “WLAN”, for example. When planning concrete projects, care should be taken to ensure that an LBS provider is not only specialized in one technology, but can also fall back on a wide range of possibilities for implementation. Another factor to consider is the possibility of maintenance and “reconfiguration”. In shopping centres, for example, tenants and shops change relatively frequently. Periodic conversion measures are also the order of the day. A transmitter infrastructure must therefore be as low-maintenance and flexible as possible. Some providers therefore offer so-called over-the-air maintenance systems with which, for example, beacons can be configured via remote maintenance and apps.