01 – Requirements

Situm can be used with most Android & iOS smartphones. In this section, we will review what smartphone sensors Situm use, how the smartphone can be carried by the user and the minimum and recommended hardware requirements to have the best experience with Situm.

Operating System compatibility #

Android compatibility #

The following table contains the list of Android versions compatible with Situm.

VersionCompatibility comments
Android 5, 6, 7, 8Not known compatibility issues.
Android 9We recommend using BLE beacons in combination with WiFi networks to achieve acceptable performance.
Android 9 devices limit the capacity to scan WiFi signals (one scan per 30 seconds vs one scan per 1-6 seconds in previous and higher versions). This restriction is called “WiFi throttling”, and it significantly reduces the accuracy when using WiFi.Impedes the WiFi calibration of a building.  
Android 10, 11, 12Android 10 introduced a developer option to deactivate the “WiFi Throttling”. This allows Situm to scan WiFi networks at a normal rate.
This option can be turned on by any user. However, being a developer option it is unlikely that end-consumer users (e.g. users of a shopping mall app) activate it. On the contrary, corporate users (e.g. professional workers using a tracking app) are likely to activate it.
The operation of Situm in Android 11 is similar to Android 10.
We recommend:
For wayfinding apps: use BLE beacons like in Android 9.
For tracking apps: you may use WiFi networks only (no BLE beacons required in general), but only if your users can deactivate the WiFi Throttling.

iOS compatibility #

The following table contains the list of iOS versions compatible with Situm.

VersionCompatibility comments
iOS 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16Apple does not allow scanning for Wifi access points. Therefore, it is mandatory to use BLE beacons to achieve an acceptable positioning performance.

Smartphone black list #

SmartphoneReasonAffects Wayfinding, Tracking or both
Nexus 5XCompass issues: orientation may be inaccurate from time to time.Affects both but the effects are not catastrophic.
Samsung S4Gyro issues: orientation may be inaccurate from time to time. Affects both but the effects are not catastrophic.
Any Xiaomi model with MIUIThe MIUI personalization layer prevents continuous positioning in the background unless specific configurations are applied to the smartphone.Only affects tracking use cases. Can be corrected by applying the mentioned configurations.
Any Huawei or Honor model The EMUI personalization layer (under 8)  prevents continuous positioning in the background. However, it is possible to use EMUI 8 if some device settings are changed (contact our Support Team for more information).Only affects tracking use cases. Can be corrected by applying the mentioned configurations.
Any Meizu modelCompass issues: orientation may be inaccurate from time to time. Affects both but the effects are not catastrophic.
Any Huawei (Android 10) Only WiFi throttling can be disabled via ADB.Only affects tracking use cases.

Sensor requirements #

Sensors are pieces of hardware that allow you to perform certain functions on your device, such as connecting to the internet or BLE. But remember the following:

Example Description
Wifi SensorThe piece of hardware that allows network connections.
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Mobile WiFi Connection SettingThe setting that we enter whenever we want to connect to a network with our mobile phone.
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App WiFi SettingApps such as Situm Mapping Tool or Situm MRM use the sensor to search for networks and without actually connecting to them obtain information such as network name, UUID, power, etc.

In order to compute the most accurate estimate, Situm fuses all the available sensor information that modern smartphones provide. Not all sensors are required: Situm is always able to make the most of the available information. The following table summarizes how Situm uses the smartphone sensors. You can check the sensors available on your smartphone in GSM Arena.

SensorDescriptionRequired
WiFi and/or BLEWiFi Access Points (WiFi APs) signals can be received by all Android smartphones to provide accurate indoor positioning (after those signals have been mapped through the calibration step).

Similar to WiFi APs, BLE beacons emit wireless signals (Bluetooth) that can be received by all modern smartphones (both Android and iOS). These signals can be captured during the calibration step and used to provide an accurate indoor location. 
Android
BLE & WiFi signals are totally complementary: Situm will work with either of them or with both at the same time. WiFi signals alone are usually enough to provide good positioning accuracy: chances are that you will not need to install any BLE beacon. In this case, BLE beacons are an optional complement for greater accuracy or to enable areas where no WiFi signal is available.

iOS
WiFi signal scanning is not allowed, therefore BLE beacons are required to provide indoor positioning.
GPSThis sensor provides an absolute location (latitude, longitude) within the whole Earth. Sadly, it is not accurate in indoor environments, but the information that it provides can be used outdoors to improve the geolocation estimation provided by Situm, or to provide proper geolocation anywhere in the world, even if Situm technology is not available.Only if you want to achieve outdoor positioning.
AccelerometerThis sensor captures the acceleration that the smartphone experiences. At rest, the accelerometer is only subject to the Earth’s gravity, but when the smartphone moves there will be other forces at play. These forces can be measured in order to estimate how the user moves around the environment.Yes, the accelerometer is always required.
GyroscopeThis sensor measures the angular velocity of the smartphone: that is, the rate at which the smartphone turns. The gyroscope can be used to update the device’s orientation.Not strictly required but highly recommended, since it enhances the accuracy a great deal.
MagnetometerThe magnetometer is the sensor that measures the direction and strength of the magnetic fields surrounding your smartphone. Typically, based on the magnetometer data the Earth’s magnetic field can be isolated, providing the device’s orientation with respect to the North. In this case, we typically call the magnetometer a compass. 
Compass information can be used to determine the device’s orientation, which may play a great deal in enhancing the location accuracy. Raw magnetometer information can also be used to measure the building’s magnetic fields (interferences caused by objects & currents) in order to enhance the location accuracy.
Not strictly required but highly recommended, since it enhances the accuracy a great deal.
BarometerThe barometer is a sensor that measures air pressure. Since the air pressure depends on the altitude, the barometer can help in estimating the floor where the user is in.Not required, recommended to speed up floor transitions.
Summary of how Situm uses the smartphone sensors

Connectivity requirements #

Although Situm uses WiFi and BLE signals to pinpoint the user location, it does not need to connect to them in order to do this: Situm just detects the signal strength without needing to establish a network connection with WiFi APs or BLE beacons. Situm does, however, need to connect to Situm cloud to download the information required to perform the positioning (e.g. signal maps of the building) and to upload some kinds of data, such as the geolocations of the user computed by the smartphone.

We highly recommend using a mobile data network to provide such connectivity. Mobile data networks are usually stable and fast enough to perform all networking tasks required by Situm. Additionally, Situm has been optimized to have a small data consumption footprint. You may check the compatibility of your smartphone with the mobile network of any country here.

On the contrary, on Android phones, we do not recommend using Situm while you are connected to a WiFi network. This is because Situm will scan the WiFi signals while your phone may be communicating through WiFi. This may result in worse WiFi data quality, and therefore in an accuracy reduction. Anyway, if you really need to use Situm while connected to the WiFi network, Situm will still work but with reduced accuracy.

Compatibility with tablets #

Calibrating with an Android tablet #

If you want to calibrate your building with an Android tablet using Situm Mapping Tool App, you will be able to do it with any tablet that has the following sensors:

  • WiFi sensor: if you need to capture WiFi signals.
  • BLE sensor: if you need to capture BLE signals.
  • Gyro sensor. This is required by Situm Mapping Tool application to ensure the best experience while calibrating & testing Situm. If your tablet doesn’t have this sensor, contact us (support@situm.com) and we will provide you with a Situm Mapping Tool version that works without gyro.

Wayfinding and tracking in tablets #

Android & iOS tablets can be used in wayfinding & tracking applications, provided that they comply with:

  1. Connectivity requirements as detailed here.
  2. Sensor requirements as detailed here.

Take into account that:

  • If in wayfinding, the user must walk with the tablet in the hand in vertical position (as opposed to landscape position), pointing forward. More details here.
  • In general, walking patterns in tablets are different than in smartphones. Situm is optimized with smartphone data so this may result in a subtle drop in accuracy performance (e.g. 20% error increase).

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