We next introduce a way for portable computers such as smartphones to determine their locationwhile indoors by listening to ambient sounds. No new hardware is required on the device and noinfrastructure is required in the environment. Sensing is entirely passive, using the device’smicrophone. Surprisingly, we found that each location has a relatively unique backgroundsound. In other words, the “quiet” sound of each room is distinct and we introduce some filteringtechniques which can measure the background sound even when there is noise, such as a persontalking. Our technique works both in closed rooms and open hallways and even in cases whenthe user carrying the device is walking.This dissertation uses an empirical approach, measuring real-world performance of our systemswith user studies when possible. As part of these experiments, we have publicly released usefuland compelling research software. This software, and our experimental results, show that background sounds and ultrasound have much more practical use than we might expect.
localization, sonar, presence, audio, sound, signal processing, power management,ultrasound