While developing SaaS solution for one of our clients, we came across a very interesting technology that is based on positioning under roof. We would like to briefly introduce it.

Indoor navigation and indoor positioning systems have nowadays become an integral part of modern life. The most popular systems are GPS, Glonas and their analogues. These systems work using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio from satellites. But there are areas GPS doesn’t reach as there is no contact with the satellite. For example, GPS is not valid inside buildings and indoor positioning becomes impossible. Of course, indoor positioning using WiFi is possible; however, the location information that you’re going to get that way is not from the device, but, instead, from the nearest router, meaning that the accuracy of the suggested solution is inadmissibly low. If the area of the building is not large, measure of inaccuracy might play a very important role in locating.

Therefore in cases where local positioning inside buildings, tunnels and other premises closed for satellite signals is required, it is better to use indoor positioning systems designed specially to work under roof.

The most popular and up-to-date indoor positioning systems are indoo.rs and iBeacon, the latter being an Apple product. Based on our experience, we can note the following peculiarities about both technologies:

indoorsThis system was designed to work on mobile apps. The specific thing about this technology is that creation and download of the building map is required, if necessary with floor determination. In the premise Wifi is required both for creating the map and establishing location.

Advantages:

  • accurate indoor location tracking;
  • constantly growing technology;
  • user positioning information on a previously created map is available;
  • floor-accurate indoor determination;
  • real-time navigation;
  • no additional hardware is required;
  • available for all Wi-Fi devices.
iBeaconUnlike the technology described above, iBeacon is not a stand-alone indoor positioning technology. It contacts outer transmitters or other devices by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). iBeacon works by small wireless sensor beacons that are located in several points of the building to determine device or its owner position while approaching the distance between transmitting beacon and receiving device.

Advantages:

  • a new Apple technology;
  • low price of transmitters;
  • fast transmitting of the information from beacon to device;
  • Internet connection is not required;
  • indoor and outdoor navigation;
  • positioning of external devices within 50 meters;
  • mobile devices supporting the technology can be beacons.

Indoor positioning systems can:

  1. Track individuals or objects indoors
  2. Enhance building safety
  3. Obtain device or its owner’s location information in emergency cases
  4. Work as guide maps in shopping malls, museums, universities, hospitals, production enterprises, etc.
  5. Navigate by voice or text tips at routing
  6. iBeacon can offer marketing of the information at approaching a point, for example, while entering a menswear department, discount info gets available on the device
  7. Search for objects, for example, search for a car at an underground parking
  8. Work as navigators for visually impaired people

The list of areas where indoor positioning and navigation can be applicable is long and it opens lots of different opportunities for business.

 

Do you think you could use Indoo.rs and iBeacon for your own benefit?

Just think of the opportunities they provide (we have written about some of them in  our blog).

We can help empower your business with innovative iBeacon solutions.