In our previous articles we wrote about the spheres of iBeacons technology application in retail, museums, and restaurant industry. In this article, we would like to talk about another innovation from one of the leading device vendors, namely about his vision of indoor navigation.
At this stage, this task remains unsolvable by traditional positioning systems, e.g. GPS, because the satellite signal can be received only in an open space. Hence, new methods and technologies are being developed for this purpose.
The most dynamically developing vendor of iBeacon devices, Estimote, recently presented a new approach to indoor navigation with the help of their devices. The difference in this approach lies in its integration simplicity. All you need is one physical device (beacon) on every room wall and a downloaded Estimote app on your smartphone.
For positioning calculation, the Cartesian coordinate system is used. With the help of this app, levels of signals inside the room are determined as well as the approximate configuration of the room. The room is formed as a polygon. Position is determined through the signal level and the calculation of angle between vector [0,1] and magnetic north direction when looking clockwise.
This method is similar to the use of the indoors technology (ios indoor positioning) where the location of a person is determined through the level of the Wi-Fi signal from a router or an access point. However, in the case of indoo.rs, room mapping is more time and cost consuming and demands a lot of preliminary training.
To start Estimote, you just need to place iBeacon devices in the center of each of the four walls in your room. For the next step, you run the application and go around the room counterclockwise while stopping near the beacons for their recognition and memorizing.
The app generates a so-called location code snippet which can be used next for the app development with help of Estimote Indoor SDK.
Therefore, Indoor SDK makes it much easier to develop indoor navigation solutions while it does all the preliminary work instead of you doing it.
However, like all such solutions, it has strengths and weaknesses. The strong sides: simple and clear development, relatively low price, small number of devices needed, and fast achievement of results. The weak sides: If you have a complicated geometrical configuration or a big-sized room, positioning accuracy drops as does the draw quality of the app.
In conclusion, I would like to mention that Estimote Indoor SDK is a relatively simple and acceptable alternative for indoor navigation from the price and level-of-effort point of view. And quick evolution of solutions made by this vendor as well as good support ensure that new versions of Indoor SDK will neutralize its weak sides.
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