IndoorAtlas recommends to use BLE beacons together with geomagnetic information for positioning. Beacons must be installed to support positioning on iOS. IndoorAtlas also automatically uses already installed beacons from the environment.
On Android the existing Wi-Fi infra is used by IndoorAtlas, so in many cases you don’t need to install beacons if you only want to use Android devices. However, most applications are targeted for both Android and iOS users, thus it makes sense to plan beacon installation and usage from the beginning.
The strength of IndoorAtlas is that while BLE only can be used for positioning, on average only 10-20% of beacons are required for the same positioning accuracy when using BLE beacons with IndoorAtlas.
On the other hand, using geomagnetic alone is not always a suitable solution – the user must walk a certain distance to make the seen geomagnetic fingerprint unique to pinpoint the exact location. However, after getting the correct location, geomagnetic information enables accurate tracking of the user – something BLE does not provide, unless you install a beacon every few meters. For this reason the fusion of radio and geomagnetic information provides a more optimal solution, because the user can immediately see approximate position, and when he/she starts walking, the tracking gets very accurate.
Using beacons brings IndoorAtlas iOS positioning performance on par with IndoorAtlas Android positioning in the same environment. Beacons also improve Android performance where Wi-Fi environment is weak.