Pedestrian dead reckoning or PDR, is a form of dead reckoning in which the position of a person in the interior of a building or on a walkway is determined by calculating their previous position, plus adding their speed – either known or estimated – to that position. It is extremely handy as a method to overcome transmission propagation latency. In other words, to work out where someone is, without necessarily waiting for a signal from them to verify position.
PDR works when the pedestrian has on their person a device capable of connecting to the internet or an intranet, which contains a sensor capable of showing their orientation and velocity. Normally, a modern smart phone suffices. Using even intermittent contact, their position can be extrapolated at any given moment.
PDR is encountered more and more frequently as a security measure and a means to track the dispersion of personnel in a given area, for logistics purposes. Like with all dead reckoning techniques, it is not really suitable for monitoring fine movement such as with a VR interface. As time passes since the last actual position update, the PDR estimate of the person's actual location becomes less and less accurate. It also cannot deal with direction changes, as it extrapolates only from the last known data. For this reason, it is recommended only for filling in gaps between actual positioning data packets no more than a few seconds apart.
See Also: Dead Reckoning, Gyroscope, Body Area Network
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