The FUTURE of Indoor Positioning System

Google maps have played a vital role in the success of multiple business models like Uber. We use it for navigation, traffic information, or to share our location. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best apps we use it. Having said that, when we go “Indoors”, the accuracy of map deteriorates and makes us puzzled. This happens because of the signals from satellites which are blocked due to concrete and iron structures.

Once indoors, we become direction-less and then rely on sign-boards or people to ask for the directions. Thanks to the technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, Geo-Magnetic Fields, WiFi and other Sensors which comes in as a problem solver. Companies like Apple and Google are already working in the indoor navigation systems.

Use Cases of Indoor Positioning System (IPS)

The Indoor Positioning System has multiple use cases for the businesses as well as to common people at large. Imagine in a big-box retail outlet customer is able to locate the product they want by navigating there from the phone and at the same time, management of the retail outlet is able to know which route is mostly taken by the visitors of the shop and its correlation with the buying pattern. This will be a paradigm shift in the way we locate things and collect behavioural data.

Recently, one of the Railway Station in Norway got an Indoor Navigation System in place. The adoption rate amongst the visitors was un-surprisingly high. They used the Bluetooth Technology for the navigation. The accuracy claimed was of 5 meters, which is fair given the use case. Few airports and bus stations are also adopting the IPS system to assist the passengers and increase their satisfaction levels.

IPS Technology Options

The prominent technologies used in IPS system are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, Geomagnetic Fields & WiFi fingerprinting. Amongst all these available technologies, so far am impressed with the BLE technology. It works on the same concept of Outdoor satellites. With the use of three BLE beacons, the user’s position can be found relative to the beacon’s position. The methods used are Triangulation & Trilateration widely.

At Indolytics, we have developed our own Proprietary algorithm which provides 2 meters of accuracy on iPhone and Android smartphones. This has made us one of the successful implementer of the BLE technology for the navigation.

I still remember our first project where we implemented the IPS technology in Qatar for the conference/exhibition across 200 thousand square meters of area. We all were nervous given the size and technology put on live test. Fortunately, due to the hard-work of the team, the implementation was done to the expectations and we were able to achieve 1.5 meters of accuracy in our first implementation.

The IPS Future

The evolution of the IPS is inevitable. Like how we are currently using the Google maps, I won’t be surprised if we will be using the indoor maps that frequently. It will enable a new set of tools which will be aligned to IPS solutions and will allow collecting all new set of data which were never available before. These new set of data points will provide the next level of analytics and machine learning. This will open-up a whole new level of experience for the visitors. They will be able to do things which they were never able to do it imagine before.

We at Indolytics are very much excited about this technology for the betterment of the humanity, if you have your opinion or question, do ask me without any kind of hesitation. You can reach me via email at dave@indolytics.com

1Comment
  • Lora
    Posted at 15:08h, 26 April Reply

    Thanks, great article. nice blog

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