Indoor navigation is a mapping system that guides users around the interior of a building with turn by turn directions. The maps created for these systems are very similar to those used in vehicle navigation systems or mobile device map applications. But the technology that makes these systems work is different because Global Positioning Systems (GPS) do not work indoors.

Indoor navigation systems work off of either wifi, beacons, or ultra-wideband. Wifi based systems can be easy and inexpensive to set up because they can often work off of existing infrastructure. However, they will not work with all customers’ mobile devices, and they are only accurate to about 5-15 meters.

Using beacons is a little more expensive because you have to install a beacon every 7-10 meters. Beacons have several significant advantages, including long battery life (1-8 years), they work across most mobile platforms, and they provide positioning accuracy of 1-3 meters.

The final hardware system for indoor navigation systems, ultra-wideband, is the most expensive and technologically complex of the three. Ultra-wideband systems work off of a series of installed locator tags that transmit to smartphones equipped with USB dongles or via Bluetooth. Because of the high installation cost and complex technology, these systems are most appropriate for industrial facilities that require extremely accurate location services. Ultra-wideband systems can be very beneficial in such facilities as they work very quickly and are accurate up to 10-30 centimeters.

How Can Indoor Navigation Be Used:

Indoor mapping systems can be beneficial in a large array of facilities, including airports and train stations, museums, hospitals or large medical facilities, museums and stadiums, universities, or retail stores. Not only can indoor mapping systems be used to provide turn by turn directions, but they can also be used to send visitors specific information about the venue, such as information on the exhibit the visitor is seeing or coupons for the merchandise they are viewing. One of the key advantages of these systems is that they are sufficiently accurate to provide information on a floor by floor basis.

Finally, a key benefit to indoor navigation systems is that they can also be used to provide accessibility information for visitors with disabilities. For example, these systems can provide specific information about wheelchair accessible routes of travel or information about the location of particular offices, services, transportation gates, or people for visitors who are blind or visually impaired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *