Focal Point was founded in June 2015 with Dr Ramsey Faragher as CEO and CTO. The team had originally worked on a range of platforms seeking to improve the navigational and positioning systems on vehicles as diverse as submarines and Martian rovers. They then decided to bring that 30 years of combined knowledge to bear on the problem of accurate positioning for smartphones and autonomous platforms indoors and out.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) provide geolocation and time information to GPS receivers, such as those in smartphones. This works well outdoors, but, indoors and in densely packed urban areas, highly attenuated signals and multiple reflections off walls make it very difficult to determine position. The current error range is around that of a tennis court. This is too large in the context of, for example, emergency personnel in hazardous environments or autonomous vehicles in cities.

Focal Point has developed algorithms which combine the phone’s motion data (gathered from the accelerometers within the device) with the radio signals received from the GPS. Super-tight coupling of these measurements provide improvements in the sensitivity and accuracy of the GPS radio measurements, resulting in better positioning in difficult environments