The Cricket Location-Support System

Nissanka B. Priyantha, Anit Chakraborty, and Hari Balakrishnan
Proc. of the Sixth Annual ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM), August 2000.

This paper presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of Cricket, a location-support system for in-building, mobile, location-dependent applications. It allows applications running on mobile and static nodes to learn their physical location by using listeners that hear and analyze information from beacons spread throughout the building. Cricket is the result of several design goals, including user privacy, decentralized administration, network heterogeneity, and low cost. Rather than explicitly tracking user location, Cricket helps devices learn where they are and lets them decide whom to advertise this information to; it does not rely on any centralized management or control and there is no explicit coordination between beacons; it provides information to devices regardless of their type of network connectivity; and each Cricket device is made from off-the-shelf components and costs less than U.S. $10. We describe the randomized algorithm used by beacons to transmit information, the use of concurrent radio and ultrasonic signals to infer distance, the listener inference algorithms to overcome multipath and interference, and practical beacon configuration and positioning techniques that improve accuracy. Our experience with Cricket shows that several location-dependent applications such as in-building active maps and device control can be developed with little effort or manual configuration.

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