- Combination of Bosch Sensortec’s digital barometric pressure sensors and NextNav MBS Network
- Combined technologies enable highly accurate altitude calculation
- MBS Network available in San Francisco Bay Area, with 47 Cellular Market Areas in early deployment
Reutlingen, Germany – Bosch Sensortec´s industry-leading barometric pressure sensors enable a host of new mobile applications, from indoor navigation with floor level tracking – e.g. for asset and personnel tracking, emergency applications such as E911 and Blue force tracking, and precise guidance in shopping malls and enterprises – to weather forecast and calorie consumption calculation in sports devices. The barometric pressure sensor has become an inherent part of high-end smart phones, and new services are emerging to take advantage of this data.
NextNav has demonstrated the ability to deliver precise ‘floor-level’ altitude by using a high quality pressure sensor like the BMP 280 in conjunction with a wide-area Metropolitan Beacon System (“MBS”) network. An MBS network is not building-specific but rather provides service across an entire metropolitan area, and is architected to remain accurate even in the case of shifting weather patterns or local microclimate effects. NextNav has developed additional technologies to facilitate the conversion of an accurate altitude to a projected floor number, among other capabilities, and is collaborating closely with Bosch on the further development and commercialization of these new capabilities.
"While indoor horizontal positioning data of varying quality has been available for some time, the z-axis has proven elusive. High-quality pressure sensors, like the Bosch Sensortec BMP280, unlock the door to highly accurate and scalable absolute altitude determination. MBS technology opens that door," said Ganesh Pattabiraman, Founder and President of NextNav. "We are delighted to be working closely with Bosch to bring this critical capability to market.”
Scalable, Robust Technologies for Altitude and Floor Level
Accurate altitude and floor detection is available through the use of highly-scalable devices that offer flexible packaging while maintaining high performance. Bosch Sensortec´s current state of the art pressure sensors, for example, has a footprint of 2.5 x 2.0 mm2 and a height of 0.95 mm in an 8-pin metal-lid LGA package, but draws only 2.7 µA. It maintains a very high relative accuracy of ±0.08 hPa, equivalent to only ±70 cm difference in altitude with resolution of 1.5 Pa. These characteristics explain the rapid proliferation of high-quality barometric pressure sensors in mobile devices.
“The key reasons underlying our collaboration with NextNav are the scalability and precision of their approach. This matches very effectively with the outstanding level of precision that our pressure sensors provide. With Bosch Sensortec as the market leader in barometric pressure sensors and delivering several hundred million of its pressure sensors into high-end smartphones already today NextNav’s solution is well-prepared for immediate mass-market adoption. NextNav’s focus on wide-area, managed systems provides a new highly valuable level of utility - that is indoor location and navigation - to products equipped with our sensors”, said Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec.
About Bosch Sensortec
Bosch Sensortec GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH dedicated to the world of consumer electronics; offering a complete portfolio of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based sensors and solutions that enable mobile devices to feel and sense the world around them. Bosch Sensortec develops and markets a broad portfolio of MEMS sensors, solutions and systems for applications in smart phones, tablets, wearable devices, and various products within the IoT (Internet of Things). The product portfolio includes a wide range of inertial (acceleration, yaw rate), geomagnetic and environmental sensors (barometric pressure, humidity and gas) as well as the corresponding software portfolio, which is also offered embedded within intelligent sensors. Since its foundation in 2005, Bosch Sensortec has emerged as the technology leader in the addressed markets. The Bosch Group has been the global market leader for MEMS sensors since 1998 selling more than 6 billion MEMS sensors to date. For more information, go to www.bosch-sensortec.com
NextNav is deploying a revolutionary positioning technology to allow mobile phones and other devices to reliably determine their location in indoor and urban environments where GPS signals can’t be received or are challenged. NextNav’s technology combines accurate horizontal positioning with floor-level height precision. Delivered over a managed network with carrier-grade dependability and metropolitan-wide coverage, NextNav’s positioning services are designed for E911, public safety and emergency response as well as the multitude of consumer and commercial applications that require precise indoor location accuracy. Based in Sunnyvale, CA and McLean, VA, NextNav is working with the Public Safety community and major technology partners to embed its capability into new GPS chipsets and mobile phones. For more information about NextNav, go to www.nextnav.com