Google releases WifiRttScan App: Allows Developers Test 802.11mc Indoor Positioning

Google this week published a “WifiRttScan App” for developers through the Play Store. While this worked well for geographic locations, it didn’t do much for locating the user indoors. Google had earlier added support for IEEE 802.11mc in Android P, to let apps find out your exact indoor location. Android 9 Pie introduced support for indoor positioning by leveraging 802.11mc. Wi-Fi Round Trip Time (RTT) allows the system and apps to “measure the distance to nearby RTT-capable Wi-Fi access points.”

WifiRttScan App is an App from Google that’s currently available for Android 9+ device devices. The app as claimed by the company is mainly useful for developers, vendors, and universities that would like to research, demonstrate, and test range measurements, navigation, and context-aware applications based on the WiFi-RTT API.

The requesting device doesn’t need to connect to the access points to measure distance with Wi-Fi RTT. To maintain privacy, only the requesting device can determine the distance to the access point; the access points do not have this information. Wi-Fi RTT operations are unlimited for foreground apps but are throttled for background apps.

Google has exclusively published this app to validate range measurements enabling the development of positioning, navigation and context-aware applications based on the WiFi-RTT API. This is especially useful for indoors where GPS is not available.

The 2.5MB app (and Wi-Fi RTT) requires that users grant the Location permission to display a list of RTT-capable APs by SSIDs and BSSIDs. Tapping will open a granular list of Access Point Ranging Results that note range (in meters) and latitude/longitude/altitude, if available.

The app is available via Google Play Store and supports only on Android 9+ devices.



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