Microsoft Research

A Fresh Look at Mobile Location Sensing

Dr. Jie Liu
Principal Researcher & SERG Manager, Microsoft Research

Location-based services have become ubiquitous thank to the sensors like GPS and WiFi in our smart phones and other mobile devices. However, continuous location sensing such as logging, tracking, and geo-fencing, consume too much energy and shorten device battery life. In this talk, we take a fresh look at location sensing, in both outdoor and indoor settings. For outdoor location, we dive into the principles of GPS receivers and show that by offloading GPS processing to the cloud, we can reduce the device side energy consumption by three orders of magnitude. For indoor location, we discover that commercial FM signals are good sources of location signatures that work better than WiFi signatures by themself, and works even better if combined with WiFi signatures. These low energy approaches enable always-there location services without users paying battery life penalty.

Dr. Jie Liu is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, and the manager of its Sensing and Energy Research Group (SERG). He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist. His research interests root in understanding and managing the physical properties of computing. Examples include timing, location, energy, and the awareness of and impact on the physical world. He has published broadly in areas like wireless sensor networks, mobile and embedded systems, ubiquitous computing, and energy efficient cloud computing. Dr. Liu is an Associate Editor of ACM Trans. on Sensor Networks, has been an Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Mobile Computing, and has chaired a number of top tier conferences. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. degree from Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, he was a research scientist at Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC).