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02 September 2016

Dr Siu Wai Ho The University of South Australia’s enterprising approach to research, digital innovation and industry engagement has been acknowledged with a win in the Consumer Category of the iAwards - Australia’s leading awards program recognising and rewarding Australian innovation.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) recognised the outstanding work of researchers in UniSA’s School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences who have developed the LiPo indoor positioning system using visible light.

The “GPS like” indoor positioning system tracks movement with greater accuracy than contemporary RFID and Wi-Fi based systems using light from energy efficient LED bulbs to triangulate a person’s location.

The iAwards recognise researchers, governments, students, SME’s and large businesses who are at the cutting edge of technology innovation across the Digital Economy.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the award is further recognition of UniSA’s commitment to deliver research in partnership with industry, business and government that tackles the very real challenges we face at the local level and as a society.

“This iAward acknowledges the work our researchers are engaging in across the broader technology sector to improve Australia’s social and economic prosperity,” Prof Lloyd says.

UniSA Senior Research Fellow, Dr Siu Wai Ho and Dr Mahammad Yasir’s work developing LiPo, a novel indoor positioning system using visible light that is accurate, low cost and energy efficient, won the Consumer Category Award.

“Lighting systems are undergoing a revolution from fluorescent lamps or tubes to LEDs and LiPo uses the lighting system to achieve a low cost and highly accurate indoor positioning system,” Dr Ho says.

“LiPo is applicable to electromagnetic sensitive areas and is built on existing lighting infrastructure that reduces deployment costs.

“The “GPS like” indoor positioning system tracks movement with greater accuracy than contemporary RFID and Wi-Fi based systems using light from energy efficient LED bulbs to triangulate a person’s location.

“Other methods of indoor positioning such as Wi-Fi are only accurate to within 1-2 metres and were easily hampered by radio frequencies from nearby devices, power sources or other wireless electronics.

“Our system has an error margin of 10cm and unlike some positioning systems our algorithm can calculate the orientation at the same time.”

LiPo uses LED lights as transmitters and photodetectors as receivers because they are both common and relatively low-cost items.

Dr Ho says although the system currently required a unique receiver, he hopes to integrate the technology with the photodectors found in mobile phone cameras.

“The new technology is crucial for applications as diverse as interactions with customers and building customer heat map for retail uses, object tracking in hospitals and warehouses, automation in manufacturing, assistive devices for building an age- and disability-friendly world, context aware services such as navigation assistant for tourists, location-based guides of museums, and social networking applications,” Dr Ho says.

The iAwards recognise the achievements of home-grown Australian innovators. http://www.iawards.com.au/

Media contact: Katrina McLachlan mobile: 0414972537 email: katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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