Sonitor Technologies Inc., based in Stamford, Conn., has debuted Forkbeard, an ultrasound-based technology positioning platform that enables smart mobile devices to become accurate indoor positioning tools and offer an alternative to standard real-time location system tags or badges.

Lyra, the platform’s first release, enables wayfinding to within 1 foot in a corridor, 100% room level accuracy, and 1-2 second update rates. Forkbeard is compatible with the billions of iOS, Android and Windows smart devices on the market today. By leveraging the capacity of the smartphone’s microphone and powerful processor, no modifications or accessories are required to transform a smartphone into an accurate positioning device or tag.

“Forkbeard represents a fundamentally new approach to ultrasound decoding developed to deliver accurate distance measurements and to find powerful Doppler effects when a device is in motion,” says Wilfred Booij, PhD, chief technology officer and lead developer at Sonitor Technologies. “The result is a scalable and accurate indoor positioning platform that delivers GPS-like performance indoors.”

Forkbeard (Tveskæg) was a Scandinavian king who dethroned his father, King Bluetooth (Blåtand) in 986 AD. Bluetooth was known as a unifier and communicator, and Forkbeard as a navigator and conqueror. Bluetooth (BLE) technology was developed for short range radio communication by a special interest group initiated by Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia in the 1990s and has evolved into a globally adopted short-range radiofrequency communication technology. Sonitor Sense and Forkbeard technologies were developed for determining indoor location in complex environments.

“Forkbeard is a major technology breakthrough with applicability in healthcare and other industries, such as retail and warehousing, where reliable and accurate indoor positioning can deliver significant value,” says Anne Bugge, president and chief executive officer at Sonitor Technologies Inc.  “With the ubiquity of consumer and professional smart devices, and the fact that we spend over 80 percent of our life indoors, Forkbeard has the potential to make transformative changes across multiple markets.”