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Prestigious Prize for UCY at International Competition organized by Microsoft Research USA

The team from the University of Cyprus ranked 2nd worldwide in Indoor Localization Contest organized by Microsoft Research USA. This international contest brought together prominent industrial and academic research teams from all over the world in order to identify the most accurate technology for localizing a mobile device in an indoor space (e.g., airport, mall or other public space). There is growing demand for such technology because ubiquitous satellite-based GPS is unavailable or significantly degraded inside buildings and alternative approaches available on smartphones have an accuracy of only tens to hundreds of meters.
The innovative system for real-time geolocation and tracking inside buildings that was jointly developed by the KIOS Research Center, the Department of Computer Science both at the University of Cyprus, and the high-tech company Cywee Ltd. (Taiwan), won the 2nd place award in its category. This is a significant success for the University of Cyprus, illustrating that the research and technology developed in Cyprus can attain high international standards, capable of contributing to global technological advancement.

The competition was part of the 13th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), which took place in Berlin, Germany during April 15-17, 2014. During the competition, 22 industrial and academic research teams competed in two categories: i) infrastructure-free, where competing teams were only allowed to use the available Wi-Fi infrastructure inside the contest building; and ii) infrastructure-based, where competing teams were allowed to deploy dedicated equipment, such as proprietary transmitters and antennas, which are able to achieve higher accuracy than infrastructure-free approaches due to the extra installed hardware.
The prize was awarded for ranking 2nd in the infrastructure-free category. Particularly, the presented system managed to achieve an accuracy of 1.96 meters while the winning team in the category achieved an accuracy of 1.56 meters. Overall, the presented system ranked 3rd in both categories, winning high profile teams from Microsoft Research Asia (China), Carnegie Mellon (USA), University of Oxford (UK), Humboldt & Freie University of Berlin (Germany), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Rutgers University (USA) and numerous other companies from Brazil, Poland, India and the USA. The winning team of the contest was a company from Germany achieving an accuracy of 0.72 meters, which however required the installation of additional hardware in the contest building.

On the contrary, the designed system by the University of Cyprus and Cywee Ltd. (Taiwan) combines a multitude of readily available data on modern commercial smartphones, including signal strength observations from the surrounding Wi-Fi hotspots and readings from the built-in inertial sensors (i.e., accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), to deliver accurate and reliable location information. Therefore, it has high potential to enter the increasing smartphone market for enabling location-based services and applications, such as indoor navigation, in-building guidance and intelligent advertising.

The team by the University of Cyprus and Cywee Ltd. Taiwan was coordinated by Dr. Christos Laoudias, at the KIOS Research Center, and comprising of George Larkou, postgraduate student at the Computer Science Department, Chin-Lung Li and Yu-Kuen Tsai at Cywee Ltd. (Taiwan) as well as mentors Prof. Christos Panayiotou, at the KIOS Research Center and Dr. Demetris Zeinalipour heading the Data Management Systems Laboratory (DMSL) at the Computer Science Department.

More information about the competition and official results:

Short demonstration video of the designed system during the competition: