News Column

Patent Application Titled "Position Estimation Device, Position Estimation Method, Program and Integrated Circuit" Published Online

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Yamada, Kazunori (Hyogo, JP), filed on September 11, 2012, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Panasonic Corporation.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In recent years, introduction of home energy management system (HEMS) is progressing in which various home electronic devices are connected to a home network to manage the home electronic devices using information technology (IT), in order to manage a power consumption amount in response to environmental concerns, for example.

"HEMS requires an accurate indoor position measurement technique to perform control such as switching ON/OFF the power sources of the home electronic devices according to a position of a user who uses the system.

"The indoor position measurement technique includes a method for estimating a distance of a wireless terminal from a base station using characteristics, that is a receiving strength of a radio wave attenuates according to the distance from the base station as shown in FIG. 2, and then estimating an intersection point with a circle having a radius of the estimated distance and about a center of each base station as shown in FIG. 3

"There is also a technique to create an electric field strength map in which the electric field strength at each point is registered in advance and use it as user navigation (see Patent Literature (PTL) 1, for example)."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Technical Problem

"However, many wireless terminals have a problem that the receiving electric field strength of the signal transmitted from the base station varies depending on the terminal posture with respect to the base station due to an influence of antenna arrangement or antenna directivity in the wireless terminal.

"The present invention has been conceived in view of the above problem, and has an object to provide a position estimation device which estimates the position of the wireless terminal accurately.

"Solution to Problem

"In order to solve the above problem, a position estimation device according to the present invention is a position estimation device which estimates a current position of a wireless terminal, the device including: a distance estimation unit configured to estimate, using a receiving strength of a signal received by the wireless terminal from each of a plurality of base stations communicating with the wireless terminal, distance information indicating a distance from the base station to the wireless terminal; a position estimation unit configured to estimate a first position to be a current position of the wireless terminal using base station information indicating a position of the base station and the estimated distance information; and a correction unit configured to correct the distance information based on an acceleration and a direction of the wireless terminal at the estimated first position, the estimated first position, and the base station information, wherein the position estimation unit is further configured to estimate a second position to be a current position of the wireless terminal using the base station information and the corrected distance information.

"It is to be noted that general or specific aspects of the above may be realized by a system, a method, an integrated circuit, a computer program, or a computer-readable recording medium such as a CD-ROM, and an arbitrary combination of a system, a method, an integrated circuit, a computer program, and a recording medium,

"Advantageous Effects of Invention

"With the present invention, a position estimation device is provided which estimates the position of the wireless terminal accurately.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a structure of a position estimation device according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an example of a graph of a relationship between an electric field strength and a distance.

"FIG. 3 is a diagram showing an example of a method of estimating a current position of a wireless terminal using distance information.

"FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an example of a model pattern of acceleration information in each placement state of the wireless terminal according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 5 is a diagram showing a specific example of detected terminal information of the wireless terminal according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an example of base station management information according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 7 is a diagram showing an example of a measured receiving strength and estimated distance information according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 8 is a diagram for describing a relationship between a terminal posture and a receiving strength according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 9 is a diagram showing an example of correspondence between a terminal posture and a correction factor according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 10 is a diagram for describing a relationship between a positional relationship of a base station, a wireless terminal, and a user and a receiving strength according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 11 is a diagram showing an example of correspondence between a positional relationship of a base station, a wireless terminal, and a user and a correction factor according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 13 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 14 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 15 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 16 is a diagram showing an example of a calculation result of a direction of a base station from a wireless terminal according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 17 is a diagram showing an example of a determination result of whether or not a user is present between a base station and a wireless terminal according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 18 is a diagram showing a result of estimating a current position using corrected distance information according to Embodiment 1.

"FIG. 19 is a block diagram showing a structure of a position estimation device according to Embodiment 2.

"FIG. 20 is a diagram showing an example of an electric field strength map according to Embodiment 2.

"FIG. 21 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 2.

"FIG. 22 is a flowchart showing an operation of the position estimation device according to Embodiment 2.

"FIG. 23 is a block diagram showing a minimum structure of the position estimation device according to the present invention.

"FIG. 24 is a flowchart showing an operation of the minimum structure of the position estimation device according to the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: Yamada, Kazunori. Position Estimation Device, Position Estimation Method, Program and Integrated Circuit. Filed September 11, 2012 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2383&p=48&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Panasonic Corporation.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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