New Trends in Indoor Navigation

The Global Positioning System, commonly known as GPS, was a vanguard form of global map tracking. This technology utilizes satellite signals to determine the target device’s location on the globe. Widely used for mapping applications such as driving directions or trail navigation, GPS unfortunately fell short on indoor navigation and target location within structures as satellite signals fail to penetrate roofs and walls.

In response to a market and stakeholder needs for indoor navigation capabilities, developers created a new technology based upon wi-fi and beacons to locate people or objects within a 3-D interior environment. Effectively functioning as an “internal GPS,” most systems deliver automatic positioning via a client-based application on a handheld device.

Often, with emergent technology, it is difficult to picture real-world applications. However, this market-driven technology had a fast rollout across industries and sectors. It is projected that indoor navigation will see immense growth in the coming year due to technological advances, cost reduction, and consumer awareness driving demand and cascading development. Here are some of the trends to expect to see in the coming year.

Public Place and Accessibility Applications

From airports and subway stations to localized tourism maps, wi-fi and beacon positioning can make getting lost a problem of the past. Client-based mobile applications can send and receive messaging from a single user’s handheld device and provide directions, maps, or any customized content based upon position policy or query.

Extensively adaptable and easily scalable, this new technology has already been rolled out in such public places as college campuses and international airports. From the ability to assist an individual in getting from point A to point B, to sending targeted messaging based upon their location, indoor navigation will change the way we interact with public environments.

The technology is being explored in applications to guide the visually impaired through spaces, sending audio queues to the user with appropriate directional prompts or messaging. Museums are also using it to provide self-government tour narratives. We can expect to see rapid advancement in accessibility applications as stakeholders grow interest in new markets.

Commercial Applications

One of the first sectors to pick up wi-fi and beacon positioning technology was, of course, the commercial sector. Originally applied as an efficient way to map and track inventory and navigate through warehouses, the technology was almost instantly found to have far-reaching commercial prospects.

Now, for instance, marketers can determine the exact location of a user within a mall, including previously visited stores and walking direction. This information can be used to serve back hyper-targeted and personalized advertisements or promotional messaging.

No matter what sector, we’re sure to see big growth in indoor navigation this year.

Indoor Positioning System Explained: What You Need To Know About Indoor Navigation in Canada

Indoor positioning system, IPS is a technology that can be used to track people and objects inside structures. Typically, the technology uses devices such as tablets and smartphones to show the location of an individual within a building. Unlike GPS or GLONASS which only works in two dimensions and can’t give a location within a building with the required level of precision, indoor positioning can penetrate walls to provide an exact location of a user within a structure. When using a GPS receiver to track an object within a building, the margin error is often so large; bigger than the structure itself especially if it’s a small space like a grocery store. With the use of indoor GPS systems gaining traction among businesses in Canada, here’s what you need to know about this fascinating new technology:

Major Industry Players Are Working On Indoor GPS

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all working on indoor GPS technology, and all are apparently making huge strides towards a solution. All these tech giants are working on unique versions of Wi-Fi based indoor navigation systems with their current focus being on the creation of base maps to make the solutions more helpful.

Indoor Positioning Needs Indoor Maps

Without accurate three-dimensional maps in the equation, the information provided by indoor GPS inadequate. The primary use of this technology is indoor navigation, and for the information to be helpful, the application needs access to comprehensive indoor maps and floor plans. All the major players (Google, Apple, and Nokia) are developing these resources through their respective proprietors.

Indoor GPS Is In Demand for a Vast Array of Reasons

Hospitals, companies, and even governments are in the market for reliable indoor GPS solutions. Hospitals and large businesses such as malls want to use the technology for easier indoor navigation. Other companies want to use the information to better market to their clients and enhance service provision. Some governments are planning to incorporate indoor GPS into the emergency response for faster search and rescue operations and save lives.

Indoor GPS Has Its Shortcomings Too

Indoor positioning can give the location of an object or a person, but not their direction or orientation. This makes the process of giving directions via indoor GPS a lot more challenging. Additional information is required to tell the direction the object in question is facing. The incorporation of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) in the indoor GPS as well as adding an electronic compass to a receiver can provide the necessary information vis-à-vis the direction and orientation of an object.

The use of indoor positioning systems is expected to become a reality soon. Indoor navigation will be a lot easier, and major beneficiaries of this technology are expected to be hospitals and businesses operating in large buildings.

The Functional Benefits at Indoor Navigation for the General Public

GPS is increasingly used by many people to assist them with their outdoor navigation efforts. With the use of GPS, you may be able to easily and quickly find your way to a specific destination. However, once you arrive, you are on your own to navigate your way through the building. For example, you may need to reach a specific suite in a large office building. This may cause you to look at site maps located next to the elevator system, ask for help or wander around in search of the right suite on your own. While this is common at the moment, indoor navigation is changing this experience for the general public.

Access to a Handheld Map of the Building
Indoor navigation essentially puts a map of a specific building in your hands. You could use a site map situated in a main area of the building when you walk in to get your bearings, but you cannot take this map with you as you proceed to navigate through the hallways and corridors. Instead, you must commit that map to memory and hope you make the right turns. With indoor navigation, however, you have a handheld map of the building on your smartphone, and this makes it easier for you to navigate straight to the suite you are looking for.

Never Get Lost Again
Some large buildings are unfortunately very maze-like, and you may have gotten lost in airports, shopping centers, office buildings or more in the past. This technology, however, can tell you exactly how to find the restrooms, the nearest exit, a special service department or something else you are looking for. You no longer have to rely on the good graces of strangers to give you verbal directions along the way.

Obtain Faster Service From Emergency Responders
While it can be inconvenient for you to not know where to go in a large building, it can become a dangerous situation when first responders do not know where to go. Firefighters, EMS workers and police officers all need to navigate to a specific location in a building to find those in need of their services. With indoor navigation, they can easily make their way to those in need in the fastest way, and this improves their response time drastically. In an emergency situation, seconds are crucial.

As you can see, indoor navigation offers numerous benefits. While you cannot control your emergency responders’ use of this technology, you can begin to use it yourself to enjoy some of these benefits. While it is relatively new technology, there are some apps available for immediate download that enable you to start using it today.

A Closer Look at Practical Applications of Indoor Navigation Systems

While outdoor navigation technology is commonly used by many people on a daily basis, such as with the GPS system on their smartphone’s mapping function, indoor navigation technology is less well known. Like GPS technology, indoor navigation helps you to more quickly and easily get to your desired location without getting lost, but its functionality is indoors. It works by mapping the indoor environment of a specific building and charting the most efficient route from one point to another. It even shows your current location in the building to help you get your bearings. There are a wide range of uses for it, and these are some of the most practical and functional applications of an indoor navigation system.

In a Hospital Environment
Hospitals are huge complexes, and while they may be relatively easier for medical workers to navigate because of a familiarity with the setting, they can seem overly complicated to guests and patients. A guest, for example, may want to travel from a patient’s room to the cafeteria or gift shop in the fastest route possible. A patient who has recently checked out may need to visit the on-site pharmacy before heading home. These are two common uses of this technology in a hospital environment.

In a University Setting
Just as hospitals can seem complex, universities can also be challenging for students and even for some professors or staff members to navigate. Keep in mind that some universities have more than 40,000 or 50,000 students as well as additional staff members, and they often have dozens of structures spread across a campus that may cover several dozen square acres or more. Whether you are a new or established student, finding your way to classes on the first day of a semester or even heading to the library or a service office you have never visited can seem confusing. Indoor navigation, however, can provide you with instructions for reaching your desired location with ease.

In Large Entertainment Venues
Large entertainment venues also be complicated to navigate. This includes everything from resorts and casinos to indoor gaming venues and more. If you find yourself in an indoor entertainment venue and need assistance reaching your hotel room, the hotel restaurant, the casino’s concert hall or something else, you can easily pull out your indoor navigation app to help you reach your destination.

There are numerous instances in many people’s lives when you do not know exactly which direction to turn. You could ask strangers for help or use posted signs, if they are available, to make educated guesses. However, a better idea may be to rely on technology to accurately guide you.

Indoor Navigation – A Sound Surveillance and Security Solution

Every smart business owner keeps an eye on their spending so they can prevent waste and loss. If too much money goes out the door, there will be no funds left to support the business. You can apply this same concept to the actual business establishment. In brick and mortar businesses, surveillance is truly important because keeps everyone safe and raises employee morale. When the work environment is secure, employees are more productive and goals are easier to achieve. With the use of indoor navigation, employers can enhance their existing security systems.

Open and Honest Monitoring

There is a thin line between surveillance and the invasion of privacy. Many employers may think twice about indoor navigation systems because they may seem intrusive. Workplace privacy laws do exist, but this type of implementation may discourage a reticient person. Some workers may perform half-heartedly if they know a monitoring system is watching their every move. To prevent this feeling from emerging, an employer should meet with their employees to show them how the system works. This will prevent paranoia and misinformation from spreading throughout the workplace.

Industries Suited for Indoor Navigation

This security measure may be a bit much for certain professions and industires. Paranoia will surely emerge if a company uses this implement in a relaxed setting. Indoor monitoring is a great solution for Fortune 500 companies and businesses with high net worths. It is also a good fit for construction foremen, shipping supervisors, and material suppliers. In these professions, there is constant movement and a need to communicate at all tmes. Indoor navigation simplifies this process by revealing the location of every manager and employee.

Responsible and Acceptable Use

This application can be an asset to any company if the management uses it responsibly. It is an advanced tool used to pinpoint the location of a person while they are working. The employee or individual being monitored needs to download an app or wear a device so the company can analyze their habits. Throughout the day, the designated observer will watch the person to see how well they are performing. When the workday ends, the employee regains their privacy and the device goes off. Employers should not use it to create suspicion or abuse the worker through intimidation.

Monitoring At Its Best

Problems can always occur, but there are very few complaints against indoor navigation. It is not just a great way to monitor employees, it is also a good guide assistant for visitors. Surveilling and tracking movements is truly a cinch with this state of the art implementation. It may seem imposing to some, but it promotes discipline and productiveness when used correctly.

How You Can Enjoy The Benefits Of Indoor Navigation

Considering the benefits that people across the globe have enjoyed as a result of outdoor mapping, billions of people are demanding the same convenience indoors. While GPS has been instrumental in outdoor mapping, this technology is unavailable in the indoor environment. Fortunately, with the onset of Wi-Fi, it is now possible to navigate the indoor environment, just like the outdoors. Scores of mobile phone users rely on the intuitive, accurate, and reliable maps that aid in indoor navigation, giving the consumers accurate directions to the locations they need to go. Whether you are going to the hospital or the airport, these services can save you a lot of time and effort. This technology has become indispensable in the following amenities:

Indoor navigation in malls
If you wander through a mall or exhibition, you might get lost while studying the various attractions. There are plenty of items including cash machines, stalls, ATMs, and a vast array of exhibitions. If you are an exhibitor or trade fair organizer, you want to attract as many people as possible to your stand. The navigation app will not only help you to choose your favorite stands, but it will also enable you to find every single item effortlessly.

Navigation in exhibitions
As a customer, you want to visit as many stands as possible. If you have a mobile app that gives you a full catalog of everything in the exhibition, you can plan your visit to the mall beforehand. If you know what you are looking for, your excursion will be more fulfilling. By the help of this software, exhibitors can put their stands on the map, while the visitors can find their favorite items easily. The indoor navigation app has plenty of benefits for both service providers and their customers. In addition to shopping malls and exhibitions, this app is indispensable in a vast array of public facilities such as hospitals and airports.

Indoor navigation in airports
If you are going for a holiday overseas, getting lost in a complex airport might ruin your vacation. Fortunately, if you rely on the revolutionary indoor navigation system that helps you to find everything easily, you do not have to start your holiday on the wrong foot. Unfamiliar surroundings can be startling, even for those who travel often, but this software can help you to navigate the tricky areas with ease. This indoor navigation app can come in handy, especially for travelers who have mobility issues. Even if a passenger is visually impaired, this app can help in wayfinding. The people who suffer from partial blindness cannot read the signage. Therefore, having the requisite information on the mobile phone can help to improve the navigation from one place to another.

How Various People can Benefit from the New Indoor Navigation Systems

Often, indoor navigation helps travelers and shoppers to navigate the busy shopping malls, terminals, or airports. Fortunately, there has been tremendous developments in this sector, meaning that the features that cost an arm and a leg a few decades ago are available at an affordable cost today. The indoor navigation technology has plenty of uses that will bring a vast array of benefits:

Navigation for the Blind
Visually impaired people have been using the GPS systems for a long time, and with this technology, they can find their way easily. Wayfinding starts with identifying your current location before you plan your next move. The maps come with bold arrows marked “you are here”. Once you identify your current location, it is quite easy to move to you preferred destination without the risk of getting lost.

Benefits of GPS Technology
While the GPS technology has been out of reach for a vast array of users, owing to its cost, the advancement in technology has led to the development of affordable indoor navigation products. Since you can get such products in the form of mobile-friendly apps, you can take advantage of this state-of-the-art technology without spending a fortune. As a result of its affordable price, the mobile-friendly indoor navigation app has received overwhelming support from users from all walks of life.

Benefits of indoor navigation
Since a significant part of the outside world is already mapped, it is important to map the indoor world as well to help the disabled and visually impaired people. Since this area is predominantly unexplored, there is a lot of potential for further research. Populated areas such as campuses, streets, and shopping malls can benefit from this technology in several ways. Hospitals are on top of the list when it comes to highlighting the areas where this technology can make a significant impact. The development of the indoor navigation systems is a multi-disciplinary initiative that combines several techniques to create a single platform that serves a wide range of people.

The system serves the blind people perfectly, and their satisfaction has now become the benchmark when it comes to evaluating the success of this system. Hospitals can also reap several benefits from this system. Hospitals have the highest number of virtual beacons that aid in wayfinding for blind people and the patients who need to move freely with the wheelchairs. The system has been replicated in a vast array of areas, and can be instrumental in the hotels that host the conferences that include the blind people. The problem is that sometimes when buildings are renovated, the floor plans are not updated. Updating a building after the renovation is pertinent for those who want to ensure that people can navigate the indoor environment easily.

The Impact of Recent Developments in Indoor Navigation Technology

Unlike in outdoor positioning, you have to deal with various challenges when it comes to indoor navigation. Key among them is the poor performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) including GPS due to presence of obstacles such as walls and furniture as well as interferences by noise. Since it is more reliable, Indoor Positioning System (IPS) is a popular choice for indoor localization. This does not mean, however, that there are absolutely no challenges associated with it. The recent developments only help to try and minimize the impact of these challenges.

Accuracy and Responsiveness

Also known as location error, accuracy is one of the most important aspects of positioning systems, both indoor and outdoor. It refers to the error distance between the actual mobile location and the estimated location. Additionally, it is usually known as the area of uncertainty. This means a system’s reliability is determined by how high its accuracy is coupled by its responsiveness in regard to quick update of location estimate of a moving target.

Network Coverage

Also closely related to accuracy, the coverage of system’s network is another crucial consideration. It usually comes in three categories: local, scalable and global. While a local coverage is limited to small areas such as a building or even a room and is not extendable, a scalable one can accommodate more hardware to enable its extension to other areas. Global coverage on the other hand has a worldwide reach or offers its localization to a particular area.

Adaptiveness

The reliability of a system is often defined by its ability to shake off the influence of the environment. The coping of the system with the prevailing environment is known as its adaptiveness. The level of adaptiveness determines how efficient its performance in indoor navigation is. Therefore, the more adaptive the system is, the higher the efficiency and the lesser the need to repeat calibration.

Scalability

In some cases, the indoor navigation system will be required to cover a large area and satisfactorily respond to an overwhelming number of location requests. Therefore, it needs to have a high level of scalability in order to handle the numerous tags without straining. Otherwise, you’ll have to reengineer or duplicate the system in order to improve its performance.

Cost

The cost of a position system can be increased by several factors including addition of infrastructure and bandwidth. Moreover, you may pay more than the usual price of the system when more energy is needed to run it. One of the best wayof reducing the cost is using already existing infrastructure, bandwidth and equipment.

Conclusion

There are many ways of locating people and objects in an indoor environment, including magnetic fields, radio waves, and acoustic signals. Nevertheless, they are all faced with challenges that threaten to make them less efficient. The recent developments in the quest to improve performance of indoor navigation are, therefore, great news. For more information, visit Jibestream and learn more from the available resources.

Indoor Navigation a Must for International Family Vacations in Groups

If you’re going on vacation with your family and you know you’re going to have a lot of people going different directions in museums, scenic routes and more, you want to get an indoor navigation system for your smart phone. Indoor navigation systems can help you all find each other, and find your way when you’re ready to explore.

It will be important that everyone installs the same system in their phone, and that they know how to use it. Here are a few things to consider when picking an indoor navigation system.
System Reliability in That Area

You want to find out if the system has been tested in the area where you’re heading, and if it’s been tested in the many tourist attractions where you plan to travel with your family. This way you know if it’s going to help you navigate through one of the most famous museums where you will explore, or if you can trust it in a busy mall where there are people wandering around.
Wireless Requirements

Be sure to get a system that can work off your satellite GPS system, and that doesn’t require that you use Wi-Fi in the area. If you are in an area of the world where there isn’t Wi-Fi available for people to use, or where the public can’t access it, then you don’t want to be stuck without a functioning system. Instead, get a program that can run with your data plan. Call your cellular provider to ensure you’ll have service while on your trip.
Multiple User Connection

The system has to allow you to connect with friends or other people, so you can find each other if you are on opposite areas of the attraction. This should be a feature that you can turn on or off when needed, and the indoor navigation system should lead you directly to the others if needed. It should also show the others where you are so everyone can track each other if needed. This is ideal if you plan to break up into groups.

If you have a family vacation planned with several people and you know that people will want to spread out and go in different directions while touring historic locations, you have to find an indoor navigation system. This will help you locate both attractions and the people that you’re traveling with while on the trip. To learn more, please visit the Jibestream website.

Using Indoor Positioning Systems for Proximity Messaging

The global positioning system has had an incredible impact on all sectors of life, but one area where it has shortcomings is that it doesn’t function indoors. An indoor positioning system is an application that allows location detection that not only works inside buildings but is two-dimensional as well. 2-D means that an IPS application can measure distance and altitude. For example, if you are in a multi-storied building and searching for a particular office, an IPS will show on what floor it is. An indoor location sensing system may have seemed like a distant dream only a few years ago, but it is now a reality and businesses are capitalizing left right and center.

An IPS can track locations using Wi-Fi hotspots located in different parts of a building, near field communication systems and Bluetooth that is magnified by beacons. Companies have found various ways to make the most of IPS, and one of that is targeted messaging or proximity-based marketing. Marketing in business is all about finding the right audience. With ISP, that has become relatively easy.

Accuracy

One aspect of proximity marketing that an indoor positioning system contributes to is accuracy. Instead of companies sending out messages to everyone on mailing lists, now they can pinpoint the customers who are interested in their services. For example, a coffee shop that has an IPS app can send messages to clients when they are just a few feet of the place. The point is to track in-store movements and then establish a target audience from that.

Relevance

Then there is the advantage of structuring more relevant content when using indoor location sensing for marketing. When you have the right audience members, it makes it less challenging to come up with content that caters to their specific needs. A company knows who to target and when to do it. This type of marketing is suitable for retail stores and other businesses that rely on attracting customers. A typical message that is designed using indoor positioning can have details such as price, product descriptions, and location of items to make it easier for customers to find. The system can also be used to send notifications for store promotions, coupons, and deals to customers.

Customer Engagement

Effective marketing is as much about getting feedback as it is about getting the message across. An indoor positioning system can be used to increase the interaction between a customer and business. For one, the data provided by the system can be used to analyze customer behavior and then structure messages that depend on it. Retail stores are also adding features on IPS apps that allow customers to add experiences. This information can be used to build stronger relationships.