US 20070155489 A1
A Location Device Platform (LDP) Client 110 and LDP Server 220 enable location services for any physical item. In one mode, the item is or comprises wireless communications device (cell phone, PDA, etc.) configured for the purposes of wagering. Since wagering is controlled by local or state regulations, the location of legal wagering is typically confined to enclosed areas such as casinos, riverboats, parimutuel tracks, or assigned off-site locations. Use of the LPD capabilities allows for wagering to take place anywhere under the control of a regulatory body.
1. A location device platform (LDP) client device, comprising a wireless communications subsystem, a processor and a computer readable storage medium, said LDP client device being configured to communicate with a gaming server for providing government-regulated gaming services to said client device.
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6. A location device platform (LDP) server, comprising a processor and a computer readable storage medium, said LDP server being configured to communicate with a gaming server and a wireless location system for the purpose of providing government-regulated gaming services to an LDP client device.
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11. A system, comprising:
an LDP client device, comprising a wireless communications subsystem, a processor and a computer readable storage medium;
an LDP server, comprising a processor and a computer readable storage medium;
a wireless location subsystem for determining the location of the LDP client device; and
a gaming server for providing a gaming service to said LDP client device;
wherein said LDP client device is configured to communicate with said gaming server for providing government-regulated gaming services to said client device, and said LDP server is configured to communicate with said gaming server and said wireless location system.
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This application is related by subject matter to U.S. application Ser. No. 11/198,996, filed Aug. 8, 2005, entitled “Geo-Fencing in a Wireless Location System” (the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference), which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/150,414, filed Jun. 10, 2005, entitled “Advanced Triggers for Location Based Service Applications in a Wireless Location System,” which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/768,587, filed Jan. 29, 2004, entitled “Monitoring of Call Information in a Wireless Location System,” now pending, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/909,221, filed Jul. 18, 2001, entitled “Monitoring of Call Information in a Wireless Location System,” now U.S. Pat. No. 6,782,264 B2, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/539,352, filed Mar. 31, 2000, entitled “Centralized Database for a Wireless Location System,” now U.S. Pat. No. 6,317,604 B1, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/227,764, filed Jan. 8, 1999, entitled “Calibration for Wireless Location System,” now U.S. Pat. No. 6,184,829 B1.
The subject matter described herein relates generally to methods and apparatus for locating wireless devices, and enabling, selectively enabling, limiting, denying, or delaying certain functions or services based on the calculated geographic location and a pre-set location area defined by local, regional, or national legal jurisdictions. Wireless devices, also called mobile stations (MS), include those such as used in analog or digital cellular systems, personal communications systems (PCS), enhanced specialized mobile radios (ESMRs), wide-area-networks (WANs), and other types of wireless communications systems. Affected functions or services can include those either local to the mobile station or performed on a landside server or server network. More particularly, but not exclusively, the subject matter described herein relates to the use of jurisdiction sensitive gaming, wagering, or betting laws or regulations to determine if the gaming functionality of a MS can be enabled.
A great deal of effort has been directed to the location of wireless devices, most notably in support of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rules for Enhanced 911 (E911) Phase II. (The wireless Enhanced 911 (E911) rules seek to improve the effectiveness and reliability of wireless 911 service by providing 911 dispatchers with additional information on wireless 911 calls. The wireless E911 program is divided into two parts—Phase I and Phase II. Phase I requires carriers, upon valid request by a local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), to report the telephone number of a wireless 911 caller and the location of the antenna that received the call. Phase H requires wireless carriers to provide more precise location information, within 50 to 300 meters in most cases. The deployment of E911 has required the development of new technologies and upgrades to local 911 PSAPs, etc.) In E911 Phase II, the FCC's mandate included required location precision based on circular error probability. Network-based systems (wireless location systems where the radio signal is collected at the network receiver) were required to meet a precision of 67% of callers within 100 meters and 95% of callers within 300 meters. Handset-based systems (wireless location systems where the radio signal is collected at the mobile station) were required to meet a precision of 67% of callers within 50 meters and 95% of callers within 100 meters. Wireless carriers were allowed to adjust location accuracy over service areas so the accuracy of any given location estimation could not be guaranteed.
While some considerations, such as accuracy and yield (the number of successful locations per calls) were defined by the FCC for the single LBS service of E911, additional quality-of -service (QoS) parameters such as latency (time to location fix and delivery of the location estimate to the requesting or selected application) were not. The FCC concern with accuracy was for the particular instance of a cellular call being placed to an emergency services center (the 911 centers or PSAP). The state-of-the-art and the FCC's rigorous accuracy standards limited the technology choices for widely deployed location technologies. Network-based options for E911 Phase II included uplink-time-difference-of-arrival (U-TDOA), angle of arrival (AoA), and TDOA/AoA hybrids. Non- network-based location options for E911 Phase II included use of the Navistar Global Positioning System (GPS) augmented with data from a landside server that includes synchronization timing, orbital data (Ephemeris) and acquisition data (code phase and Doppler ranges).
Besides the FCC E911 compliant location systems for wireless voice communications, other wireless location systems using Time-of-Arrival (TOA), Time-Difference-of-Arrival (TDOA), Angle-of-Arrival (AoA), Power-of-Arrival (POA), Power-Difference-of-Arrival can be used to develop a location to meet specific location-based services (LBS) requirements.
In the Detailed Description section below, we provide further background on location techniques and wireless communications systems that may be employed in connection with the present invention. In the remainder of this Background section, we provide further background on wireless location systems.
Early work relating to Wireless Location Systems is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,327,144, Jul. 5, 1994, “Cellular Telephone Location System,” which discloses a system for locating cellular telephones using time difference of arrival (TDOA) techniques. Further enhancements of the system disclosed in the '144 patent are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,608,410, Mar. 4, 1997, “System for Locating a Source of Bursty Transmissions.” Both of these patents are assigned to TruePosition, Inc., the assignee of the present invention. TruePosition has continued to develop significant enhancements to the original inventive concepts.
Over the past few years, the cellular industry has increased the number of air interface protocols available for use by wireless telephones, increased the number of frequency bands in which wireless or mobile telephones may operate, and expanded the number of terms that refer or relate to mobile telephones to include “personal communications services,” “wireless,” and others. The air interface protocols now used in the wireless industry include AMPS, N-AMPS, TDMA, CDMA, GSM, TACS, ESMR, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS WCDMA, and others.
The wireless communications industry has acknowledged the value and importance of the Wireless Location System. In June 1996, the Federal Communications Commission issued requirements for the wireless communications industry to deploy location systems for use in locating wireless 911 callers. Widespread deployment of these systems can reduce emergency response time, save lives, and save enormous costs because of reduced use of emergency response resources. In addition, surveys and studies have concluded that various wireless applications, such as location sensitive billing, fleet management, and others, will have great commercial value in the coming years.
As mentioned, the wireless communications industry uses numerous air interface protocols in different frequency bands, both in the U.S. and internationally. In general, neither the air interface nor the frequency bands impact the Wireless Location System's effectiveness at locating wireless telephones.
All air interface protocols use two categories of channels, where a channel is defined as one of multiple transmission paths within a single link between points in a wireless network. A channel may be defined by frequency, by bandwidth, by synchronized time slots, by encoding, shift keying, modulation scheme, or by any combination of these parameters. The first category, called control or access channel, is used to convey information about the wireless telephone or transmitter, for initiating or terminating calls, or for transferring bursty data. For example, some types of short messaging services transfer data over the control channel. Different air interfaces use different terminology to describe control channels but the function of the control channels in each air interface is similar. The second category of channel, known as voice or traffic channel, typically conveys voice or data communications over the air interface. Traffic channels come into use once a call has been set up using the control channels. Voice and user data channels typically use dedicated resources, i.e., the channel can be used only by a single mobile device, whereas control channels use shared resources, i.e., the channel can be accessed by multiple users. Voice channels generally do not carry identifying information about the wireless telephone or transmitter in the transmission. For some wireless location applications this distinction can make the use of control channels more cost effective than the use of voice channels, although for some applications location on the voice channel can be preferable.
The following paragraphs discuss some of the differences in the air interface protocols:
AMPS—This is the original air interface protocol used for cellular communications in the U.S. and described in TIA/EIA Standard IS 553A. The AMPS system assigns separate dedicated channels for use by control channels (RCC), which are defined according to frequency and bandwidth and are used for transmission from the BTS to the mobile phone A reverse voice channel (RVC), used for transmission from the mobile phone to the BTS, may occupy any channel that is not assigned to a control channel.
N-AMPS—This air interface is an expansion of the AMPS air interface protocol, and is defined in EIA/TIA standard IS-88. It uses substantially the same control channels as are used in AMPS but different voice channels with different bandwidth and modulation schemes.
TDMA—This interface, also known as D-AMPS and defined in EIA/TIA standard IS-136, is characterized by the use of both frequency and time separation. Digital Control Channels (DCCH) are transmitted in bursts in assigned timeslots that may occur anywhere in the frequency band. Digital Traffic Channels (DTC) may occupy the same frequency assignments as DCCH channels but not the same timeslot assignment in a given frequency assignment. In the cellular band, a carrier may use both the AMPS and TDMA protocols, as long as the frequency assignments for each protocol are kept separated.
CDMA—This air interface, defined by EIA/TIA standard IS-95A, is characterized by the use of both frequency and code separation. Because adjacent cell sites may use the same frequency sets, CDMA must operate under very careful power control, producing a situation known to those skilled in the art as the near-far problem, makes it difficult for most methods of wireless location to achieve an accurate location (but see U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,192, Apr. 4, 2000, Robust, Efficient, Localization System, for a solution to this problem). Control channels (known in CDMA as Access Channels) and Traffic Channels may share the same frequency band but are separated by code.
GSM—This air interface, defined by the international standard Global System for Mobile Communications, is characterized by the use of both frequency and time separation. GSM distinguishes between physical channels (the timeslot) and logical channels (the information carried by the physical channels). Several recurring timeslots on a carrier constitute a physical channel, which are used by different logical channels to transfer information—both user data and signaling.
Control channels (CCH), which include broadcast control channels (BCCH), Common Control Channels (CCCH), and Dedicated Control Channels (DCCH), are transmitted in bursts in assigned timeslots for use by CCH. CCH may be assigned anywhere in the frequency band. Traffic Channels (TCH) and CCH may occupy the same frequency assignments but not the same timeslot assignment in a given frequency assignment. CCH and TCH use the same modulation scheme, known as GMSK. The GSM General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) systems reuse the GSM channel structure, but can use multiple modulation schemes and data compression to provide higher data throughput. GSM, GPRS, and EDGE radio protocols are subsumed by the category known as GERAN or GSM Edge Radio Access Network.
UMTS—Properly known as UTRAN (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network), is an air interface defined by the international standard third Generation Partnership program as a successor to the GERAN protocols. UMTS is also sometimes known as WCDMA (or W-CDMA), which stands for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access. WCDMA is direct spread technology, which means that it will spread its transmissions over a wide, 5 MHz carrier.
The WCDMA FDD (Frequency Division Duplexed) UMTS air interface (the U-interface) separates physical channels by both frequency and code. The WCDMA TDD (Time Division Duplexed) UMTS air interface separates physical channels by the use of frequency, time, and code. All variants of the UMTS radio interface contain logical channels that are mapped to transport channels, which are again mapped to W-CDMA FDD or TDD physical channels. Because adjacent cell sites may use the same frequency sets, WCDMA also uses very careful power control to counter the near-far problem common to all CDMA systems. Control channels in UMTS are known as Access Channels whereas data or voice channels are known as Traffic Channels. Access and Traffic Channels may share the same frequency band and modulation scheme but are separated by code. Within this specification, a general reference to control and access channels, or voice and data channels, shall refer to all types of control or voice and data channels, whatever the preferred terminology for a particular air interface. Moreover, given the many types of air interfaces (e.g., IS-95 CDMA, CDMA 2000, UMTS, and W-CDMA) used throughout the world, this specification does not exclude any air interface from the inventive concepts described herein. Those skilled in the art will recognize other interfaces used elsewhere are derivatives of or similar in class to those described above.
GSM networks present a number of potential problems to existing Wireless Location Systems. First, wireless devices connected to a GSM/GPRS/UMTS network rarely transmit when the traffic channels are in use. The use of encryption on the traffic channel and the use of temporary nicknames (Temporary Mobile Station Identifiers (TMSI)) for security render radio network monitors of limited usefulness for triggering or tasking wireless location systems. Wireless devices connected to such a GSM/GPRS/UMTS radio network merely periodically “listen” for a transmission to the wireless device and do not transmit signals to regional receivers except during call setup, voice/data operation, and call breakdown. This reduces the probability of detecting a wireless device connected to a GSM network. It may be possible to overcome this limitation by actively “pinging” all wireless devices in a region. However, this method places large stresses on the capacity of the wireless network. In addition, active pinging of wireless devices may alert mobile device users to the use of the location system, which can reduce the effectiveness or increase the annoyance of a polling location-based application.
The above-cited application Ser. No. 11/198,996, “Geo-Fencing in a Wireless Location System,” describes methods and systems employed by a wireless location system to locate a wireless device operating in a defined geographic area served by a wireless communications system. In such a system, a geo-fenced area may be defined, and then a set of predefined signaling links of the wireless communications system may be monitored. The monitoring may also include detecting that a mobile device has performed any of the following acts with respect to the geo-fenced area: (1) entered the geo-fenced area, (2) exited the geo-fenced area, and (3) come within a predefined degree of proximity near the geo-fenced area. In addition, the method may also include, in response to detecting that the mobile device has performed at least one of these acts, triggering a high-accuracy location function for determining the geographic location of the mobile device. The present application describes methods and systems for using the concept of a geo-fenced area to enable, selectively enable, limit, deny, or delay certain functions or services based on the calculated geographic location and a pre-set location area defined by local, regional, or national legal jurisdictions. The present invention, however, is by no means limited to systems employing the geo-fencing technologies described in the above-cited application Ser. No. 11/198,996.
The following summary provides an overview of various aspects of exemplary implementations of the invention. This summary is not intended to provide an exhaustive description of all of the important aspects of the invention, or to define the scope of the invention. Rather, this summary is intended to serve as an introduction to the following description of illustrative embodiments.
With the increase in gaming and the increase in wireless networks, interest in wireless device-based gaming is rising. In the present application, we describe, among other things, a wireless user interface device, application server, and location service to enable legal wireless gaming. The ability to independently locate the wireless device serves to eliminate location spoofing and assures authorities that the gaming transaction is limited to licensed jurisdictions.
The illustrative embodiments described herein provide methods and apparatus for locating wireless devices, and enabling, selectively enabling, limiting, denying, or delaying certain functions or services based on the calculated geographic location and a pre-set location area defined by user definitions; service area; billing zones; or local, regional, or national political boundaries or legal jurisdictions. Wireless devices include those such as used in analog or digital cellular systems, personal communications systems (PCS), enhanced specialized mobile radios (ESMRs), wide-area-networks (WANs), networks of localized radios (WiFi, UWB, RFID) and other types of wireless communications systems. Affected functions or services can include those either local to the wireless device or performed on a server or server network. More particularly, but not exclusively, we describe the use of wireless device location estimates with jurisdiction sensitive gaming, wagering, or betting laws or regulations to determine if the gaming functionality of a wireless device can be enabled.
Additional features and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following Detailed Description of Illustrative Embodiments.
The foregoing summary as well as the following detailed description are better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings exemplary constructions of the invention; however, the invention is not limited to the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed. In the drawings:
A Location Device Platform (LDP) Client 110 and LDP Server 220 (see
The LDP Client Device 110 may be used for both purpose-built and general purpose computing platforms with wireless connections and wagering functionality. The LDP Server 220, a location-aware server resident in a telecommunications network, can perform location checking on the wireless LDP Client Device 110 (analogous to existing systems checking of IP addresses or telephony area codes) to determine if wagering functionality can be enabled. The actual wagering application can be resident on the LDP Server 220 or exist on another networked server. The LDP Server 220 can even supply a gaming permission indicator or a geographical location to a live operator/teller.
The location methodology employed by the wireless location system may be dependent on the service area deployed or requirements from the wagering entity or regulatory authority. Network-based location systems include those using POA, PDOA, TOA, TDOA, or AOA, or combinations of these. Device-based location systems may include those using POA, PDOA, TOA, TDOA, GPS, or A-GPS. Hybrids, combining multiple network-based techniques, multiple device-based techniques, or a combination of network and device based techniques, can be used to achieve the accuracy, yield, and latency requirements of the service area or location-based service. The location-aware LDP Server 220 may decide on the location technique to use from those available based on cost of location acquisition.
The LDP Client Device 110 preferably includes a radio communications link (radio receiver and transmitter 100, 101) for communicating with the LDP Server 220. Wireless data communications may include cellular (modem, CPDP, EVDO, GPRS, etc.) or wide-area networks (WiFi, WiMAN/MAX, WiBro, ZigBee, etc.) associated with the location system. The radio communications method can be independent of the wireless location system functionality—for instance, the device may acquire a local WiFi Access Point, but then use GSM to communicate the SSID of the WiFi beacon to the LDP Server 220 for a proximity location.
The LDP Server 220 authenticates, authorizes, bills, and administers the use of the LDP Client Device 110. Preferably, the LDP Server 220 also maintains the service area definitions and wagering rules associated with each service area. The service area may be either a polygon defined by a set of latitude/longitude points or a radius from a central point. The service area may be defined within the location-aware server by interpretation of gaming statutes. Based on the service area definition, the rules, and the calculated location, the LDP Server 220 may grant the wireless device full access, limited access, or no access to gaming services. The LDP Server 220 also preferably supports a geo-fencing application where the LDP Client Device 110 (and the wagering server) is informed when the LDP Client Device 110 enters or leaves a service area. The LDP Server 220 preferably supports multiple limited access indications. Limited access to a wagering service can mean that only simulated play is enabled. Limited access to service can also mean that real multi-player gaming is enabled, but wagering is not allowed. Limited access to service may be determined by time of day or by the location combined with the time of day. Moreover, limited access to service can mean that a reservation for gaming at a particular time and within a prescribed area is made.
The LDP Server 220 can issues a denial of service to both the LDP Client Device 110 and the wagering server. Denial of access can also allow for the provision of directions to where requested gaming is allowed.
The LDP Client Device 110 and LDP Server 220 may allow for all online gaming and wagering activities based on card games, table games, board games, horse racing, auto racing, athletic sports, on-line RPG, and online first person shooter.
It is envisioned, but not required, that the LDP Server 220 could be owned or controlled by a wireless carrier, a gaming organization or a local regulatory board.
We will now briefly summarize two exemplary use cases.
Use Case: Geo-Fencinz
In this scenario, the LDP Client Device 110 is a purpose-built gaming model using GSM as the radio link and network-based Uplink-TDOA as the location technique. Handed out to passengers as they arrive at the airport, the LDP Client Device 110 initially supports gaming tutorials, advertisements, and simulated play. When the device enters the service area, it signals the user though audible and visual indicators that the device is now capable of actual wagering. This is an example of a geo-fencing application. Billing and winnings are enabled via credit card or can be charged/awarded to a hotel room number. If the LDP Client Device 110 leaves the area, audible and visual indicators show that the device is now incapable of actual wagering as the LPD Server 220 issues a denial message to the LDP Client Device and wagering server.
Use Case: Access Attempt
In this scenario, the LDP Client Device 110 is a general purpose portable computer with a WiFi transceiver. A wagering application client is resident on the computer. Each time a wagering function is accessed, the LDP Client Device 110 queries the LDP Server 220 for permission. The LDP Server 220 obtains the current location based on the WiFi SSID and power of arrival, compares the location against the service area definition and allows or denies access to the selected wagering application. Billing and winnings are enabled via credit card.
B. LDP Client Device
The LDP Client Device 110 is preferably implemented as a location enabling hardware and software electronic platform. The LDP Client Device 110 is preferably capable of enhancing accuracy of a network-based wireless location system and hosting both device-based and hybrid (device and network-based) wireless location applications.
The LDP Client Device 110 may be built in a number of form-factors including a circuit-board design for incorporation into other electronic systems. Addition (or deletion) of components from the Radio Communications Transmitter/Receiver, Location Determination, Display(s), Non-Volatile Local Record Storage, Processing Engine, User Input(s), Volatile Local Memory, Device Power Conversion and Control subsystems or removal of unnecessary subsystems allow the size, weight, power, and form of the LPD to match multiple requirements.
Radio Communications—Transmitter 101
The LDP Radio Communications subsystem may contain one or more transmitters in the form of solid-state application-specific-integrated-circuits (ASICs). Use of a software defined radio may be used to replace multiple narrow-band transmitters and enable transmission in the aforementioned radio communications and location systems. The LDP Client Device 110 is capable of separating the communications radio link transmitter from the transmitter involved in a wireless location transmission under direction of the onboard processor or LDP Server 220.
Radio Communications—Receiver 100
The LDP Radio Communications subsystem may contain one or more receivers in the form of solid-state application-specific-integrated-circuits (ASICs). Use of a wide-band software defined radio may be used to replace multiple narrow-band receivers and enable reception of the aforementioned radio communications and location systems. The LDP Client Device 110 is capable of separating the communications radio link receiver from the receiver used for wireless location purposes under direction of the onboard processor or LDP Server 220. The LDP Radio Communications subsystem may also be used to obtain location-specific broadcast information (such as transmitter locations or satellite ephemerides) or timing signals from the communications network or other transmitters.
Location Determination Engine 102
The Location Determination Engine, or subsystem, 102 of the LPD Client Device enables device-based, network-based, and hybrid location technologies. This subsystem can collect power and timing measurements, broadcast positioning information and other collateral information for various location methodologies, including but not limited to: device-based time-of-arrival (TOA), forward link trilateration (FLT), Advanced-forward-link-trilateration (AFLT), Enhanced-forward-link-trilateration (E-FLT), Enhanced Observed Difference of Arrival (EOTD), Observed Time Difference of Arrival (O-TDOA), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Assisted GPS (A-GPS). The location methodology may be dependent on the characteristics of the underlying radio communications or radio location system selected by the LDP or LDP Server 220.
The Location Determination subsystem can also act to enhance location in network-based location systems by modifying the transmission characteristics of the LPD Client Device 110 to maximize the device's signal power, duration, bandwidth, and/or delectability (for instance, by inserting a known pattern in the transmitted signal to enable the network-based receiver to use maximum likelihood sequence detection).
The display subsystem of the LDP Client Device, when present, may be unique to the LDP and optimized for the particular location-application the device enables. The display subsystem may also be an interface to another device's display subsystem. Examples of LDP displays may include sonic, tactile or visual indicators.
User Input(s) 104
The User Input(s) subsystem 104 of the LDP Client Device, when present, may be unique to the LDP Client Device and optimized for the particular location-application the LPD Client Device enables. The User Input subsystem may also be an interface to another device's input devices.
The timer 105 provides accurate timing/clock signals as may be required by the LDP Client Device 110.
Device Power Conversion and Control 106
The Device Power Conversion and Control subsystem 106 acts to convert and condition landline or battery power for the other LDP Client's electronic subsystems.
Processing Engine 107
The processing engine subsystem 107 may be a general purpose computer that can be used by the radio communication, displays, inputs, and location determination subsystems. The processing engine manages LDP Client resources and routes data between subsystems and to optimize system performance and power consumption in addition to the normal CPU duties of volatile/non-volatile memory allocation, prioritization, event scheduling, queue management, interrupt management, paging/swap space allocation of volatile memory, process resource limits, virtual memory management parameters, and input/output (I/O) management. If a location services application is running local to the LDP Client Device 110, the processing engine subsystem 107 can be scaled to provide sufficient CPU resources.
Volatile Local Memory 108
The Volatile Local Memory subsystem 108 is under control of the processing engine subsystem 107, which allocates memory to the various subsystems and LDP Client resident location applications.
Non-Volatile Local Record Storage 109
The LDP Client Device 110 may maintain local storage of transmitter locations, receiver locations or satellite ephemerides in non-volatile local record storage 109 through power-down conditions. If the location services application is running local to the LDP Client, application specific data and application parameters such as identification, ciphering codes, presentation options, high scores, previous locations, pseudonyms, buddy lists, and default settings can be stored in the non-volatile local record storage subsystem.
C. Location Aware Application Enabling Server (LDP Server) 220
The LDP Server 220 (see
Radio Communications Network Interface 200
The LDP Server 220 connects to the LDP Client Device 110 by a data link running over a radio communications network either as a modem signal using systems such as, but not limited to: CDPD, GPRS, SMS/MMS, CDMA-EVDO, or Mobitex. The Radio Communications Network Interface (RCNI) subsystem acts to select and commands the correct (for the particular LDP) communications system for a push operation (where data is sent to the LDP Client 110). The RCNI subsystem also handles pull operations where the LDP Client Device 110 connects the LDP Server 220 to initiate a location or location-sensitive operation.
Location Determination Engine 201
The Location Determination Engine subsystem 201 allows the LDP Server 220 to obtain LDP Client Device 110 location via network-based TOA, TDOA, POA, PDOA, AoA or hybrid device and network-based location techniques.
Administration Subsystem 202
The Administration subsystem 202 maintains individual LDP records and services subscription elections. The LDP Server 220 Administration subsystem allows for arbitrary groupings of LDP Client Devices to form services classes. LDP subscriber records may include ownership; passwords/ciphers; account permissions; LDP Client Device 110 capabilities; LDP make, model, and manufacturer; access credentials; and routing information. In the case where the LDP Client Device is a registered device under a wireless communication provider's network, the LDP Server 220 administration subsystem preferably maintains all relevant parameters allowing for LDP access of the wireless communication provider's network.
Accounting Subsystem 203
The LDP Accounting subsystem 203 handles basic accounting functions including maintaining access records, access times, and the location application accessing the LDP Client location allowing for charging for individual LDP Client Device and individual LBS services. The Accounting subsystem also preferably records and tracks the cost of each LDP access by the wireless communications network provider and the wireless location network provider. Costs may be recorded for each access and location. The LDP Server 220 can be set with a rules-based system for the minimization of access charges via network and location system preference selection.
Authentication Subsystem 204
The main function of the Authentication subsystem 204 is to provide the LDP Server 220 with the real-time authentication factors needed by the authentication and ciphering processes used within the LDP network for LDP access, data transmission and LBS-application access. The purpose of the authentication process is to protect the LDP network by denying access by unauthorized LDP Clients or by location-applications to the LDP network and to ensure that confidentiality is maintained during transport over a wireless carrier's network and wireline networks.
Authorization Subsystem 205
The Authorization subsystem 205 uses data from the Administration and Authentication subsystems to enforce access controls upon both LDP Client Devices and Location-based applications. The access controls implemented may be those specified in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comment RFC-3693, “Geopriv Requirements,” the Liberty Alliance's Identity Service Interface Specifications (ID-SIS) for Geo-location, and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). The Authorization subsystem may also obtain location data for an LDP Client before allowing or preventing access to a particular service or Location-based application. Authorization may also be calendar or clock based dependent on the services described in the LDP profile record resident in the administration subsystem. The Authorization system may also govern connections to external billing system and networks, denying connections to those networks that are not authorized or cannot be authenticated.
Non-Volatile Local Record Storage 206
The Non-Volatile Local Record Storage of the LDP Server 220 is primarily used by the Administration, Accounting, and Authentication subsystems to store LDP profile records, ciphering keys, WLS deployments, and wireless carrier information.
Processing Engine 207
The processing engine subsystem 207 may be a general purpose computer. The processing engine manages LDP Server resources and routes data between subsystems.
Volatile Local Memory 208
The LDP Server 220 has a Volatile Local Memory store composed of multi-port memory to allow the LDP Server 220 to scale with multiple, redundant processors.
External Billing Network(s) 209
Authorized External billing networks and billing mediation system may access the LDP accounting subsystem database through this subsystem. Records may also be sent periodically via a pre-arranged interface.
Interconnection(s) to External Data Network(s) 210
The interconnection to External Data networks is designed to handle conversion of the LDP data stream to external LBS applications. The interconnection to External Data networks is also a firewall to prevent unauthorized access as described in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comment RFC-3694, “Threat Analysis of the Geopriv Protocol.” Multiple access points resident in the Interconnection to External Data Networks subsystem 210 allow for redundancy and reconfiguration in the case of a denial-of-service or loss of service event. Examples of interconnection protocols supported by the LDP Server 220 include the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Mobile-Location-Protocol (MLP) and the Parlay X specification for web services; Part 9: Terminal Location as Open Service Access (OSA); Parlay X web services; Part 9: Terminal location (also standardized as 3GPP TS 29.199-09).
External Communications Network(s) 211
External Communications Networks refer to those networks, both public and private, used by the LDP Server 220 to communicate with location-based applications not resident on the LDP Server 220 or on the LDP Client Device 110.
D. System/Process for Gaming
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LDP Power Savings through Selective Awake Mode
Wireless devices typically have three modes of operation to save battery life: sleep, awake (listen), and transmit. In the case of the LDP Client Device 110, a fourth state, locate, is possible. In this state, the LDP Client Device 110 comes first to the awake state. From received data or external sensor input, the LPD Client determines if activation of the Location Determination Engine or Transmission subsystem is required. If the received data or external sensor input indicates a location transmission is not needed, then the LDP Client Device 110 powers neither the location determination or transmission subsystems and returns to the minimal power drain sleep mode. If the received data or external sensor input indicates a location transmission is needed only if the device position has changed, then the LDP Client Device 110 will perform a device-based location and returns to the minimal power drain sleep mode. If the received data or external sensor input indicates a location transmission is necessary, then the LDP Client Device 110 may perform a device-based location determination, activate the transmitter, send the current LDP Client Device 110 location (and any other requested data) and return to the minimal power drain sleep mode. Alternatively, if the received data or external sensor input indicates a location transmission is necessary, then the LDP Client Device 110 may activate the transmitter, send a signal (optimized for location) to be located by network-means (the LDP Client Device 110 may send any other requested data at this time) and then return to the minimal power drain sleep mode.
Invisible Roaming for Non-Voice Wireless LDPs
For LDP Clients using cellular data communications, it is possible to provision the LDP Clients for minimal impact to existing cellular authentication, administration, authorization and accounting services. In this scenario, a single LDP platform is distributed in each cellular base station footprint (within the cell-site electronics). This single LDP Client Device 110 is then registered normally with the wireless carrier. All other LDPs in the area would then use SMS messages for communication with the LDP Server 220 (which has its own authentication, administration, authorization and accounting services) based on the single LDP ID (MIN/ESN/IMSI/TMSI) to limit HLR impact. A server would use the payload of the SMS to determine both the true identity of the LDP and also the triggering action, location or attached sensor data.
SMS Location Probes Using a Known Pattern Loaded into the LDP
Using SMS messages with a known pattern of up to 190 characters in a deployed WLS control channel location architecture or A-bis monitored system the LDP Client Device 110 can enhance the location of an SMS transmission. Since characters are known, the encryption algorithm is known, the bit pattern can be generated and the complete SMS message is available for use as an ideal reference by signal processing to remove co-channel interference and noise to increase the precision possible in a location estimation.
Location Data Encryption for Privacy, distribution and Non-Repudiation.
A method for enforcement of privacy, re-distribution and billing non-repudiation using an encryption key server based in the LDP Server 220 may be employed. In this method, the LDP Server 220 would encrypt the location record before delivery to any outside entity (the master gateway). The gateway can either open the record or pass the protected record to another entity. Regardless of the opening entity, a key would have to be requested from the LDP Server 220 key server. The request for this key (for the particular message sent) means that the “private” key “envelope” was opened and the location sequence number (a random number allocated by the LDP Server 220 to identify the location record) read by the entity. The LDP Server 220 would then deliver a “secret” key and the subscriber's location under the same “private” key repeating the location sequence number to allow reading of the location record. In this manner subscriber privacy is enforced, gateways can redistribute location records without reading and recording the data, and receipt of the record by the final entity is non-reputable.
Overlay Network-based Location Enhancement via LDP Data Channel
To perform an enhanced network-based location, the LDP Client Device 110 may be configured to receive broadcast acquisition data, register on the system (if required) and request data service from the wireless network. The data connection is routed by the data network to the LDP Server 220. Upon connection with the LDP Server 220, the LDP Client Device 110 then immediately transmits its ID (examples include: MIN/ESN/TMSI/TruePosition), its channel information (examples include: Channel, CC, etc); its neighbor (for instance, the mobile-assisted-handoff (AHO) list (containing the target network station, target channel, target time offset, power offset, etc.); any encryption bit-string given to the LDP Client Device 110 by the network, and a semi random-but-known pattern to send over the existing data path. This semi-random sequence is retransmitted on a (n) second repeat period (the (n) second repeat can be matched to the availability of the MAHO list) until commanded to stop either by internal counters/timers or by the LDP Server 220.
The LDP Server 220 selects the network receiver stations based on the received channels and receiver stations available in the neighbor (MAHO) list (if any) or from internal tables of stations locations. The network-based wireless location then performs a location up to the threshold of accuracy required by the quality of service demanded.
The LDP Server 220 can use the established duplex data path with the LDP Client Device 110 to update the LDP timers, ID, programming, or other characteristics. The LDP Server 220 can then command the LDP Client Device 110 based on location, CellID, mode, band, or RF protocol. The cellular system signaling, voice, and/or data encryption is irrelevant to this application since that data can be delivered in the data path to the WLS for use.
LDP Location with Only a Network-Based Wireless Location System
An LDP Client Device 110 not equipped with a device-based location determination engine can report its position in a non-network-based WLS environment to a LDP Server 220 equipped with an SMSC. At the highest level, the LDP Client Device 110 can report the System ID (SID or PLMN) number or Private System ID (PSID) so the WLS can make the determination that the LPD is in (or out) of a WLS equipped system. The neighbor (MAHO) list transmitted as a series of SMS messages on the control channel could give rough location in a friendly carrier network that has not yet been equipped with a WLS. Reverse SMS allows for the WLS to reprogram any aspect of the LDP. If the LDP Client Device 110 is in a network-based WLS equipped area, the LDP Client Device 110 can then offer higher levels of accuracy using the network-based WLS.
Automatic Transmitter Location via LDP with Network Database
If the LDP Client Device 110 radio communications subsystem is designed for multi-frequency, multi-mode operation or if the LDP Client Device 110 is provided with connection to external receivers or sensors, the LDP Client Device 110 becomes a location-enabled telemetry device. In a particular application, the LDP Client Device 110 uses the radio communications subsystem or external receiver to locate radio broadcasts. Reception of such broadcasts, identified by the transmission band or information available from the broadcast, triggers the LDP Client Device 110 to establish a data connection to the LDP Server 220, perform a device-based location or begin a location-enhanced transmission for use by the LDP Server 220 or other network-based server.
One exemplary use of this LDP Client Device 110 variant is as a networked radar detector for automobiles or as a WiFi hotspot locator. In either case, the LDP Server 220 would record the network information and location for delivery to external location-enabled applications.
Use of Externally Derived Precision Timing for Scheduling Communications
Battery life may be a key enabler for at least some applications of autonomous location specific devices. In addition, the effort associated with periodically charging or replacing batteries in a location specific device is anticipated to be a significant cost driver. A device is considered to have 3 states: active, idle, sleep.
The power consumption in the active state is driven by the efficiency of digital and RF electronics. Both of these technologies are considered mature and their power consumption is considered to be already optimized. The power consumption in the sleep mode is driven by the amount of circuitry active during the sleep state. Less circuitry means less power consumption. One method of minimizing power consumption is to minimize the amount of time spent in the idle state. During the idle state, the device must periodically listen to the network for commands (paging) and if received enter the active state. In a standard mobile station (MS), the amount of time spent in the idle state is minimized by restricting the when the paging commands can occur for any particular mobile station.
This aspect of the invention utilizes an absolute external time reference (GPS, A-GPS, or information broadcast over a cellular network) to precisely calibrate the location specific client device's internal time reference. An internal temperature sensing device would enable the device to temperature compensate its own reference. The GPS or A-GPS receiver can be part of the location determination engine of the LDP Client Device 110 used for device-based location estimation.
Given that the location specific device has a precise time reference, the network can schedule the device to enter the idle mode at a precise time thereby maximizing the amount of time spent in the lowest power state. This method will also minimize unsuccessful attempts to communicate with a device in sleep mode thereby minimizing load on the communication network.
Speed, Times, Altitude, Area Service
The LDP Client Device functionality may be incorporated into other electronic devices. As such, the LDP, a location-aware device with radio communications to an external server with a database of service parameters and rules for use, can be used to grant, limit or deny service on the basis of not only location within a service area, but also on the basis of time, velocity, or altitude for a variety of electronic devices such as cell phones, PDAs, radar detectors, or other interactive systems. Time includes both time-of-day and also periods of time so duration of a service can be limited.
Intelligent Mobile Proximity
The LDP Client Device 110 may be paired with another LDP Client to provide intelligent proximity services where the granting, limiting, or denial of services can be based on the proximity of the LDP pair. For instance, in an anti-theft application, an LDP Client Device 110 could be incorporated into an automobile while other LDPs would be incorporated into the car radio, navigation system, etc. By registering the set of LDP Clients as paired in the LDP Server 220, and setting triggering conditions for location determination based on activation or removal, an anti-theft system is created. In the case of unauthorized removal, the LDP Client Device 110 in the removed device could either deny service or allow service while providing location of the stolen device incorporating the LDP Client.
F. Location Techniques: Network-Based, Device-Based and Hybrid
Each wireless (radio) location system comprises a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter creates the signal of interest [s(t)], which is collected and measured by the receiver. The measurement of the signal of interest may take place at either the wireless device or the network station. The transmitter or the receiver can be in motion during the signal measurement interval. Both may be in motion if the movements of either (or both) can be precisely defined a priori.
Network-Based Location Techniques
When the measurement takes place at the network (a geographically distributed set of one or more receivers or transceivers), the location system is known as network-based. Network-based wireless location systems can use TOA, TDOA, AOA, POA, and PDOA measurements, often hybridized with two or more independent measurements being included in the final location calculation. The networked receivers or transceivers are known by different names, including Base Stations (cellular), Access Points (Wireless Local Access Networks), Readers (RFID), Masters (Bluetooth) or Sensors (UWB).
Since, in a network-based system, the signal being measured originates at the mobile device, network-based systems receive and measure the signal's time of arrival, angle of arrival, or signal strength. Sources of location error in a network-based location system include: network station topology, signal path loss, signal multipath, co-channel signal interference and terrain topography.
Network station topology can be unsuitable for a network-based location technique with sites in a line (along a roadway) or sites with few neighbors.
Signal path loss can be compensated for by longer sampling periods or using a higher transmit power. Some radio environments (wide area, multiple access spread spectrum systems such as IS-95 CDMA and 3GPP UMTS) have a hear-ability issue due to the lower transmit powers allowed.
Multipath signals, caused by constructive and destructive interference of reflected, non-line-of-sight signal paths will also affect location accuracy and yield of a network-based system, with dense urban environments being especially problematic. Multipath may be compensated for by use of multiple, separated receive antennas for signal collection and post-collection processing of the multiple received signals to remove time and frequency errors from the collected signals before location calculation.
Co-channel signal interference in a multiple access radio environment can be minimized by monitoring of device specific features (example: color-code) or by digital common mode filtering and correlation between pairs of collected signals to remove spurious signal components.
A Network-based Time-of-Arrival system relies on a signal of interest being broadcast from the device and received by the network station. Variants of Network-based TOA include those summarized below.
Single Station TOA
A range measurement can be estimated from the round-trip time of a polling signal passed between and then returned between transceivers. In effect this range measurement is based on the TOA of the returned signal. Combining the range estimate with the known location of the network node provides a location estimate and error estimate. Single station TOA is useful in hybrid systems where additional location information such as angle-of-arrival or power-of-arrival is available.
An example of the commercial application of the single station TOA technique is found in the CGI+TA location method described in ETSI Technical Standards for GSM: 03.71, and in Location Services (LCS); Functional description; Stage 2 23.171 by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Synchronous Network TOA
Network-based TOA location in a synchronous network uses the absolute time of arrival of a radio broadcast at multiple receiver sites. Since signals travel with a known velocity, the distance can be calculated from the times of arrival at the receivers. Time-of-arrival data collected at two receivers will narrow a position to two points, and TOA data from a receiver is required to resolve the precise position. Synchronization of the network base stations is important. Inaccuracy in the timing synchronization translates directly to location estimation error. Other static sources of error that may be calibrated out include antenna and cabling latencies at the network receiver.
A possible future implementation of Synchronous Network TOA, when super-high accuracy (atomic) clocks or GPS-type radio time references achieve affordability and portability, is for the transmitter and receivers to be locked to a common time standard. When both transmitters and receivers have timing in common, the time-of-flight can be calculated directly and the range determined from the time-of-flight and speed of light.
Asynchronous Network TOA
Network-based TOA location in an asynchronous network uses the relative time of arrival of a radio broadcast at the network-based receivers. This technique requires that the distance between individual receiver sites and any differences in individual receiver timing be known. The signal time-of-arrival can then be normalized at for receiver site, leaving only the a time-of-flight between the device and each receiver. Since radio signals travel with a known velocity, the distance can be calculated from derived, normalized time-of-arrivals at the receivers. Time-of-arrival data collected from three of more receivers will be used to resolve the precise position.
In a network-based (uplink) time-difference-of-arrival wireless location system, the transmitted signal of interest is collected, processed, and time-stamped with great precision at multiple network receiver/transceiver stations. The location of each network station, and thus the distance between stations, is known precisely. The network receiver stations time stamping requires either highly synchronized with highly stable clocks or that the difference in timing between receiver station is known.
A measured time difference between the collected signals from any pair of receiver stations can be represented by a hyperbolic line of position. The position of the receiver can be determined as being somewhere on the hyperbolic curve where the time difference between the received signals is constant. By iterating the determination of the hyperbolic line of position between every pair of receiver stations and calculating the point of intersection between the hyperbolic curves, a location estimation can be determined.
The AOA method uses multiple antennas or multi-element antennae at two or more receiver sites to determine the location of a transmitter by determining the incident angle of an arriving radio signal at each receiver site. Originally described as providing location in an outdoor cellular environment, see U.S. Pat. No. 4,728,959, “Direction Finding Localization,” the AoA technique can also be used in an indoor environment using Ultrawideband (UWB) or WiFi (IEEE802.11) radio technologies.
Power of arrival is a proximity measurement used between a single network node and wireless device. If the system consists of transceivers, with both a forward and reverse radio channel available between the device and network node, the wireless device may be commanded to use a certain power for transmission, otherwise the power of the device transmitter should be known a priori. Since the power of a radio signal decreases with range (from attenuation of radio waves by the atmosphere and the combined effects of free space loss, plane earth loss, and diffraction losses), an estimate of the range can be determined from the received signal. In simplest terms, as the distance between transmitter and receiver increases, the radiated radio energy is modeled as if spread over the surface of a sphere. This spherical model means that the radio power at the receiver is decreased by the square of the distance. This simple POA model can be refined by use of more sophisticated propagation models and use of calibration via test transmissions at likely transmission sites.
Network-based POA multipath
This power-of-arrival location technology uses features of the physical environment to locate wireless devices. A radio transmission is reflected and absorbed by objects not on the direct line-of-sight on the way to the receiver (either a network antenna or device antenna), causing multipath interference. At the receiver, the sum of the multiple, time delayed, attenuated copies of the transmission arrive for collection.
The POA multipath fingerprinting technique uses the amplitude of the multipath degraded signal to characterize the received signals for comparison against a database of amplitude patterns known to be received from certain calibration locations.
To employ multipath fingerprinting, an operator calibrates the radio network (using test transmissions performed in a grid pattern over the service area) to build the database of amplitude pattern fingerprints for later comparison. Periodic recalibration is required to update the database to compensate for changes in the radio environment caused by seasonal changes and the effects of construction or clearances in the calibrated area.
Power-difference-of-arrival requires a one-to-many arrangement with either multiple sensors and a single transmitter or multiple transmitters and a single sensor. PDOA techniques require that the transmitter power and sensor locations be known a priori so that power measurements at the measurement sensors may be calibrated for local (to the antenna and sensor) amplification or attenuation.
Network-based systems can be deployed as hybrid systems using a mix of solely network-based or one of network-based and device-based location technologies.
Device-Based Location Techniques
The device-based receivers or transceivers are known by different names: Mobile Stations (cellular), Access Points (Wireless Local Access Networks), transponders (RFID), Slaves (Bluetooth), or Tags (UWB). Since, in a device-based system, the signal being measured originates at the network, device-based systems receive and measure the signal's time of arrival or signal strength. Calculation of the device location may be performed at the device or measured signal characteristics may be transmitted to a server for additional processing.
Device-based TOA location in a synchronous network uses the absolute time of arrival of multiple radio broadcasts at the mobile receiver. Since signals travel with a known velocity, the distance can be calculated from the times of arrival either at the receiver or communicated back to the network and calculated at the server. Time of arrival data from two transmitters will narrow a position to two points, and data from a third transmitter is required to resolve the precise position. Synchronization of the network base stations is important. Inaccuracy in the timing synchronization translates directly to location estimation error. Other static sources of error that may be calibrated out include antenna and cabling latencies at the network transmitter.
A possible future implementation of device-based Synchronous Network TOA, when super-high accuracy (atomic) clocks or GPS-type radio time references achieve affordability and portability, is for the network transmitter and receivers to both be locked to a common time standard. When both transmitters and receivers have timing in common, the time-of-flight can be calculated directly and the range determined from the time-of-flight and speed of light.
Device-based TDOA is based at collected signals at the mobile device from geographically distributed network transmitters. Unless the transmitters also provide (directly or via broadcast) their locations or the transmitter locations are maintained in the device memory, the device cannot perform the TDOA location estimation directly, but must upload the collected signal related information to a landside server.
The network transmitters stations signal broadcasting requires either transmitter synchronization with highly stable clocks or that the difference in timing between transmitter stations is known to the location determination engine located either on the wireless device or the landside server.
Commercial location systems using device-based TDOA include the Advanced Forward Link Trilateration (AFLT) and Enhanced Forward Link Trilateration (EFLT) (both standardized in ANSI standard IS-801) systems used as a medium accuracy fallback location method in CDMA (ANSI standard IS-95, IS-2000) networks.
Device-based Observed Time Difference
The device-based Observed Time Difference location technique measuring the time at which signals from the three or more network transmitters arrive at two geographically dispersed locations. These locations can be a population of wireless handsets or a fixed location within the network. The location of the network transmitters must be known a priori to the server performing the location calculation. The position of the handset is determined by comparing the time differences between the two sets of timing measurements.
Examples of this technique include the GSM Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) system (ETSI GSM standard 03.71) and the UMTS Observed Time Difference of Arrival (OTDOA) system. Both EOTD and OTDOA can be combined with network TOA or POA measurements for generation of a more accurate location estimate.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based TDOA system that enables receivers on the Earth to calculate accurate location information. The system uses a total of 24 active satellites with highly accurate atomic clocks placed in six different but equally spaced orbital planes. Each orbital plane has four satellites spaced equidistantly to maximize visibility from the surface of the earth. A typical GPS receiver user will have between five and eight satellites in view at any time. With four satellites visible, sufficient timing information is available to be able to calculate the position on Earth.
Each GPS satellite transmits data that includes information about its location and the current time. All GPS satellites synchronize operations so that these repeating signals are transmitted at effectively the same instant. The signals, moving at the speed of light, arrive at a GPS receiver at slightly different times because some satellites are further away than others. The distance to the GPS satellites can be determined by calculating the time it takes for the signals from the satellites to reach the receiver. When the receiver is able to calculate the distance from at least four GPS satellites, it is possible to determine the position of the GPS receiver in three dimensions.
The satellite transmits a variety of information. Some of the chief elements are known as ephemeris and almanac data. The ephemeris data is information that enables the precise orbit of the satellite to be calculated. The almanac data gives the approximate position of all the satellites in the constellation and from this the GPS receiver is able to discover which satellites are in view.
Device-based Hybrid TDOA—A-GPS
Due to the long satellite acquisition time and poor location yield when a direct line-of-sight with the GPS satellites cannot be obtained, Assisted-GPS was disclosed by Taylor (see U.S. Pat. No. 4,445,118, “Navigation system and method”).
Wireless Technologies for Location
Broadcast Location Systems
Location systems using dedicated spectrum and comprising geographically dispersed receiver networks and a wireless transmitter ‘tag’ can be used with the present invention as can systems supplying timing signals via geographically dispersed networks of transmitting beacons with the LDP Client Device 110 acting as a receiver or transceiver unit. The LDP Client Device 110 is well suited to be either the transmitter tag or receiver unit for such a wireless system and may use such networks dependent on service area, accessibility and pricing of the location service. In the case of a location network operating in a dedicated spectral band, the LDP Client Device 100 could use its ability to utilize other radio communications networks to converse with the LDP Server 220 and landside location applications. Examples of these broadcast location system include the Lo-jack vehicle recovery system, the LORAN system, and the Rosum HDTV transmitter-based, E-OTD-like system.
Wireless (Cellular) systems based on AMPS, TDMA, CDMA, GSM, GPRS, and UMTS all support the data communications link required for the present invention. Cellular location systems and devices for enhancing cellular location techniques have been taught in detail in TruePosition's United States patents. These patents cover various location approaches, including but not limited to AoA, AoA hybrids, TDOA, TDOA hybrids including TDOA/FDOA, A-GPS, hybrid A-GPS. Many of the described technologies are now in commercial service.
Local and Wide Area Networks
These wireless systems were all designed as purely digital data communications systems rather than voice-centric systems with data capabilities added on as a secondary purpose. Considerable overlap in radio technologies, signal processing techniques, and data stream formats has resulted from the cross pollination of the various standards groups involved. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Project for Broadband Radio Access Networks (BRAN), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Multimedia Mobile Access Communication Systems (MMAC) in Japan (Working Qroup High Speed Wireless Access Networks) have all acted to harmonize the various systems developed.
In general, WLAN systems that use unlicensed spectrum operate without the ability to handoff to other access points. Lack of coordination between access points will limit location techniques to single-station techniques such as POA and TOA (round-trip-delay).
WiFi is standardized as IEEE 802.11. Variants currently include 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11 g, and 802.11n. Designed as a short range, wireless local-are-network using unlicensed spectrum, WiFi system are well suited for the various proximity location techniques. Power is limited to comply with FCC Part 15 (Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations transmission rules, Part 15, subsection 245).
Part 15.245 of the FCC rules describes the maximum effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) that a license-free system can emit and be certified. This rule is meant for those who intend to submit a system for certification under this part. It states that a certified system can have a maximum of 1 watt (+36 dBm) of transmit power into an omni-directional antenna that has 6 dBi gain. This results in an EIRP of: +30 dBm +6 dBi =+36 dBm (4 watts). If a higher gain omni-directional antenna is being certified, then the transmit power into that antenna must reduced so that the EIRP of that system does not exceed +36 dBm EIRP. Thus, for a 12 dBi omni antenna, the maximum certifiable power is +24 dBm (250 mW (+24 dBm +12 dBi =36 dBm). For directional antennas used on point-to-point systems, the EIRP can increase by 1 dB for every 3 dB increase in gain of the antenna. For a 24 dBi dish antenna, it works out that +24 dBm of transmit power can be fed into this high gain antenna. This results in an EIRP of: +24 dBm +24 dBi =48 dBm (64 Watts).
IEEE 802.11 proximity location methods can be either network-based or device-based.
HiperLAN is short for High Performance Radio Local Area Networks. Developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), HiperLAN is a set of WLAN communication standards used chiefly in European countries.
HiperLAN is a comparatively short-range variant of a broadband radio access network and was designed to be a complementary access mechanism for public UMTS (3GPP cellular) networks and for private use as a wireless LAN type systems. HiperLAN offers high speed (up to 54 Mb/s) wireless access to a variety of digital packet networks.
IEEE 802.16—WiMAN, WiMAX
IEEE 802.16 is working group number 16 of IEEE 802, specializing in point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access.
IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee is intended as a specification for low-powered networks for such uses as wireless monitoring and control of lights, security alarms, motion sensors, thermostats and smoke detectors. 802.15.4/ZigBee is built on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard that specifies the MAC and PHY layers. The “ZigBee” comes from higher-layer enhancements in development by a multi-vendor consortium called the Zigbee Alliance. For example, 802.15.4 specifies 128-bit AES encryption, while ZigBee specifies but how to handle encryption key exchange. 802.15.4/ZigBee networks are slated to run in the unlicensed frequencies, including the 2.4-GHz band in the U.S.
Ultra Wideband (UWB)
Part 15.503 of FCC rules provides definitions and limitations for UWB operation. Ultrawideband is a modem embodiment of the oldest technique for modulating a radio signal (the Marconi Spark-Gap Transmitter). Pulse code modulation is used to encode data on a wide-band spread spectrum signal.
Ultra Wideband systems transmit signals across a much wider frequency than conventional radio communications systems and are usually very difficult to detect. The amount of spectrum occupied by a UWB signal, i.e., the bandwidth of the UWB signal, is at least 25% of the center frequency. Thus, a UWB signal centered at 2 GHz would have a minimum bandwidth of 500 MHz and the minimum bandwidth of a UWB signal centered at 4 GHz would be 1 GHz. The most common technique for generating a UWB signal is to transmit pulses with durations less than 1 nanosecond.
Using a very wideband signal to transmit binary information, the UWB technique is useful for a location either be proximity (via POA), AoA, TDOA or hybrids of these techniques. Theoretically, the accuracy of the TDOA estimation is limited by several practical factors such as integration time, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at each receive site, as well as the bandwidth of the transmitted signal. The Cramer-Rao bound illustrates this dependence. It can be approximated as:
possible proxy for power of arrival in UWB is use of the signal bit rate. Since signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) fall with increasing power, after a certain point faster than the power rating increases, a falling s/n ratio means, in effect, greater informational entropy and a move away from the Shannon capacity, and hence less throughput. Since the power of the UWB signal decreases with range (from attenuation of radio waves by the atmosphere and the combined effects of free space loss, plane earth loss, and diffraction losses), the maximum possible bit rate will fall with increasing range. While of limited usage for a range estimate, the bit rate (or bit error rate) could serve as an indication of the approach or departure of the wireless device.
In simplest terms, as the distance between transmitter and receiver increases, the radiated radio energy is modeled as if spread over the surface of a sphere. This spherical model means that the radio power at the receiver is decreased by the square of the distance. This simple model can be refined by use of more sophisticated propagation models and use of calibration via test transmissions at likely transmission sites.
Bluetooth was originally conceived as a Wireless Personal Area Network(W-PAN or just PAN). The term PAN is used interchangeably with the official term “Bluetooth Piconet”. Bluetooth was designed for very low transmission power and has a usable range of under 10 meters without specialized, directional antenna. High-powered Bluetooth devices or use of specialized directional antenna can enable ranges up to 100 meters. Considering the design philosophies (the PAN and/or cable replacement) behind Bluetooth, even the 10 m range is adequate for the original purposes behind Bluetooth. A future version of the Bluetooth specification may allow longer ranges in competition with the IEEE802.11 WiFi WLAN networks.
Use of Bluetooth for location purposes is limited to proximity (when the location of the Bluetooth master station is known) although single station Angle-of-Arrival location or AoA hybrids are possible when directional antenna are used to increase range or capacity.
Speed and direction of travel estimation can be obtained when the slave device moves between piconets. Bluetooth piconets are designed to be dynamic and constantly changing so a device moving out of range of one master and into the range of another can establish a new link in a short period of time (typically between 1-5 seconds). As the slave device moves between at least two masters, a directional vector may be developed from the known positions of the masters. If links between three or more masters are created (in series), an estimate of the direction and speed of the device can be calculated.
A Bluetooth network can provide the data link necessary for the present invention. The LDP Client Device 110 to LDP Server 220 data could also be established over a W-LAN or cellular data network.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification and proximity location method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an encapsulated radio transmitter or transceiver. RFID tags contain antennas to enable them to receive and respond to radio-frequency queries from an RFID Reader (a radio transceiver) and then respond with a radio-frequency response that includes the contents of the tags solid state memory.
Passive RFID tags require no internal power source and use power supplied by inductively coupling the reader with the coil antenna in the tag or by backscatter coupling between the reader and the dipole antenna of the tag. Active RFID tags require a power source.
RFID wireless location is based on the Power-of-Arrival method since the tag transmits a signal of interest only when in proximity with the RFID Reader. Since the tag is only active when scanned by a reader, the known location of the reader determines the location of the tagged item. RFID can be used to enable location-based services based on proximity (location and time of location). RFID yields no ancillary speed or direction of travel information.
The RFID reader, even if equipped with sufficient wired or wireless backhaul is unlikely to provide sufficient data link bandwidth necessary for the present invention. In a more likely implementation, the RFID reader would provide a location indication while the LDP-to-LDP Server 220 data connection could also be established over a WLAN or cellular data network.
Near Field Communications
A variant of the passive RFID system, Near Field Communications (NFC) operates in the 13.56 MHz RFID frequency range. Proximity location is enabled, with the range of the NFC transmitter less than 8 inches. The NFC technology is standardized in ISO 18092, ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356), and ETSI TS 102 190.
G. Citations to WLS-related Patents
TruePosition, Inc., the assignee of the present invention, and its wholly owned subsidiary, KSI, Inc., have been inventing in the field of wireless location for many years, and have procured a portfolio of related patents, some of which are cited above. Therefore, the following patents may be consulted for further information and background concerning inventions and improvements in the field of wireless location:
The true scope the present invention is not limited to the illustrative embodiments disclosed herein. For example, the foregoing disclosure of a Wireless Location System (WLS) uses explanatory terms, such as wireless device, mobile station, client, network station, and the like, which should not be construed so as to limit the scope of protection of this application, or to otherwise imply that the inventive aspects of the WLS are limited to the particular methods and apparatus disclosed. In many cases, the place of implementation (i.e., the functional element) described herein is merely a designer's preference and not a hard requirement. Accordingly, except as they may be expressly so limited, the scope of protection is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments described above.