Next Generation Positioning: A look at what’s around the corner

March 10, 2016 at 8:00 AM


Most of us use GPS apps and positioning technology every day to get directions, find nearby restaurants and for a variety of other applications. Positioning technology has fully infiltrated our lives and usage is expected to continue to grow by up to 50% over the next two years.


Pinpointing the pulse of the market, the IEEE is working to develop the next generation positioning standard, 802.11az. 802.11az will enhance and enable indoor positioning systems by focusing on several key concepts. 



  • ·       Next-generation amendment to 802.11
  • ·       Designed for new positioning applications to run on wireless local area networks (WLAN)
  • ·       Focused on better positioning and location finding to enhance GPS for indoor locations
  • ·       Enables wireless connectivity for fixed, portable and moving stations within a local area
  • ·       Allows access to one or more frequency bands for local area communication


 Improved Accuracy:

  • ·       Increasing accuracy range from <1m to <0.1m
  • ·       As technology usage increases, so does the demand for performance
  • ·       Micro-locations offer a new category of usage models


Direction Finding:

· Guiding people through stores to find a specific product on a high  shelf

· Directing museum visitors through the exhibitions

· Providing product location information to customers as they enter a store



Improved Scalability and Efficiency:

  • ·       Bringing location technology into crowded venues to ease traffic flow
  • ·       Guiding people to their seats in stadiums
  • ·       Showing people to their gate in airports
  • ·       Directing passengers to their platform in metro stations and train stations


With such a great need for accurate indoor positioning, the IEEE is working to fulfill market demand by developing a robust, accurate and scalable wireless positioning standard. In the coming years, 802.11az will greatly enhance our personal and professional lives.


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