What is Trilateration?
You have probably heard of Triangulation which is how sailors used line of sight and angles to determine their location before GPS. Most people get Triangulation and Trilateration confused for that reason. Trilateration does pretty much the same thing but instead of knowing the angles because you have direct line of sight with an object you only know the distances between the objects. In our case, the case of locating wifi, bluetooth, and other radio devices we only know the distance because all we have is the signal strength and frequency.
There are a lot of practical applications. One of my favorite applications of this tech I outline in my blog post What SaaS will be valuable in the upcoming Google Glass Era on my other blog Ship or Get Off the Pot. I realize now Google Glass hasn't exactly took over the market but in the new internet of things era this tech could still be valuable.
Experiment 1 - ADAM:
I started my experiments on this almost two years ago when I was stuck inbetween contracts with too much time on my hands. I was watching game trailers and wondering why don't we have that kind of augmented reality stuff already? So I got to work making it happened. I started by breaking through the Android API for their various radio signals. Then I took the trilateration algorithm and added an extra weighted decaying statistic algorithm to determine the accuracy of the signal strength. I will spare you the details here for two reasons:
- I published a post on my old blog that outlined my process
- If you want to know more feel free to reach out to me (I am running a business after all).
Eventually I took a demanding contract and lost focus on the project for a while. After receiving several cold emails on the post and seeing that it was by far my most popular post on my old blog (still to this day) I decided to run a little launch rock campaign to see what kind of interest there really was.
Where its at now:
The Trilateration part was easy. I am currently dabbling with building out the service I had originally outlined to make this happen. Launching services, releasing an SDK, etc. What I learned from years of successfully building developer tools but unsuccessfully marketing and selling them is that the fastest way to adoption is not to launch a product but to start by building them into your consulting services.
With that said if anyone has a project that needs Trilateration services you should check out my Work With Me page and let's get started. If I have a couple of Trilateration based projects to bank roll building out the full service then it would be a done deal but in the classic LEAN Startup mindset I need the customers before I start building out the full featured product.