GPS Indoor Maps are Coming to a Mall, Stadium, or Museum Near You
Posted by Tech Insurance Solutions on
Have you ever walked into a mall and had no idea where to find the store you were looking for? Then, when you finally get to the store, where do you find the clothing department? How about a sporting event? Ever walked halfway around a stadium to find out your seats are on the other side? Who hasn’t worried about finding a bathroom in an airport when you need to get to one fast?
No Problem: Indoor Mapping will be everywhere soon.
1Rather than use satellites to pinpoint locations, like GPS, indoor mapping is not dependent on one line of sight to provide location updates. Some indoor mapping companies like WiFiSLAM utilize a building’s various Wi-Fi signals to detect a phone user’s location, a process known as Wi-Fi fingerprinting.
Other software developers are taking different approaches for indoor mapping, such as using a phone’s Bluetooth capability or using tools within a handset, like the accelerometer or gyroscope, to supply position information. Some companies even act as digital cartographers and create virtual indoor maps of locations, while others provide businesses with the means to do their own mapping.
The retail industry is among the first to truly embrace indoor mapping-based technology to help combat online retailers. For example, Macy’s made shopping in its Herald Square store in New York less confusing by providing shoppers with an app that finds their position in the store and provides personal directions to various departments and brands in the building. Developed by Meridian, the map is said to offer 3 to 5 feet of accuracy. Walgreens also included location tracking in its app, partnering with Aisle411 to let customers make shopping lists and see where the items appear on their store map.
Many More Applications to come
As the scope of indoor mapping solutions expands, more solutions will become available for various purposes. College universities could benefit from indoor navigation apps that allow students to chart classrooms and get around campus. Hospitals could create apps that help visitors get from one building to another or use the technology to streamline the movement of patients. Businesses might adopt programs that can track when employees arrive to work based on their smartphones, or employ the technology to enhance their customer service. For instance, a restaurant could develop an app for consumers to track how many tables are available, while a store could create an app that pushes out loyalty coupons for shoppers nearby.
2How about providing indoor mapping services to businesses both for B2B and B2C use, as part of the Internet of Things business unit? Applications already include tracking movements in a factory, optimizing workspaces mapping, navigation in large transit centers and last-mile guidance for vehicles to help find parking spaces.
Our world is going to be changing and indoor mapping is going to be one of many wonderful conveniences we may all enjoy. Now where do I find the BBQ sauce?