Sonic Distance Estimation

In the context of developing the official corona-warning app in early 2020, Fraunhofer IIS found characteristics of the initial approach of estimating distance via Bluetooth Low Energy, which are in need of improvement. On that note, the search for an additional technology with more precise and reliable results began.

By bundling expertise on fields of high frequency technology, communication engineering and acoustics, such a technology was formed at Fraunhofer IIS.

What is sonic distance estimation?

Sonic distance estimation is a new indoor-positioning technology, which enables the locating of objects inside of buildings. To measure the space between two end devices, for example smartphones, the mainstream travel-time measurement of radio signals to sonic signals with an ultrasound range, is being used. These signals radiate from smartphone speakers and can be received by smartphone microphones.

Functionality of contact tracing with sonic distance estimation
© Fraunhofer IIS/Windisch
Functionality of Sonic Distance Estimation.

Sonic Distance Estimation & Contact Tracing

Functionality of Contact Tracing with sonic distance estimation.
© Fraunhofer IIS/Windisch
Contact Tracing with Sonic Distance Estimation

Next to established technologies of indoor positioning, such as distance estimation via Bluetooth or WLAN, the sonic distance estimation provides a supplementary approach, which convinces with precise and correct measurements.




Campus Solution



The new technology is especially convenient for a campus solution of company-internal contact tracing und could be the technical basis for your individual business-app.



Due to the fact, that sonic distance estimation provides secure results because of its precise measuring, it is particularly suitable for contact tracing apps. This technology does not strain the battery since the receiving of radio signals is very power saving.