Positioning – using everything from ultrasound to radio waves

Positioning is about finding the longitude and latitude of an object in a room, building or in the world. Positioning systems are using different positioning technologies to determine this position.

Time of flight

Time of flight systems determine the distance by measuring the time it takes for a signal to travel between a sender and a receiver. When at least three distances are known, a fourth position can be determined by using so called trilateration which is using the geometry of circles, spheres or triangles of the signals to create a position.

Optical trackers

Optical trackers like laser ranging trackers have challenges with line of sight. Performance is affected by surrounding light and infrared radiation. They are not, on the other hand, affected by negative effects from surrounding metals and are quickly updated because the speed of light.


Ultrasonic trackers use ultrasound and have a more limited range due to loss of energy when ultrasound travels. The main advantage is that ultrasound does not need line of sight but the technology is sensitive to ultrasonic ambient noise and have a low update rate.

Radio waves

Radio waves, such as Global Navigation Satellite System, GPS, do not suffer from ambient light but still need line of sight and works therefore best outside.

Combain – focused on CELL ID and Wi-Fi

Combain is focusing on CELL ID and Wi-Fi technologies – both technologies calculating time of flight. Combain have more than 88 million Cell IDs from more than 1000 operators in our database and 1,5 billion Wi-Fi positions making it the world’s largest available database for mobile positioning.