Indoor positioning – will it be the next big thing?
Posted on January 13, 2011 by Tommy Hansson
Indoor positioning has been around for a couple of years, mainly utilizing Near Field Communication (NFC) like Rfid – both passive and active. This technology has proven to be a good investment for some specific niche processes but not found its way into the larger parts of the enterprise. Often due to the need of investing in additional infrastructure.
With an increase in penetration of smartphones on the market there has been more and more start-ups focusing on indoor location services, utilizing the existing infrastructure such as WiFi. For the consumer markets the business model will probably be to use ads from the businesses within a mall. The applications will help the end user to navigate to a specific store within the mall. There are many companies in this field using different core technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi, GSM, Ultra Wide Band or a combination of them. The choice of technology is made depended on the environment in which it will be used. In an industrial environment containing a lot of steel, such as a factory, todays solutions with the highest accuracy is based on UWB. Within Tech Watch & BI we explored this area in a factory context two years ago and you can find additional informaiton here – Location Based Assembly Support
Here are some other interesting links to companies that are exploring this field such as Nokia
Ekahau offers a WiFi based indoor tracking service
Ubisense – Ultra Wide Band core technology an now also moving into GPS for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Do you have any ideas on how Volvo Group could utilize this technology and add value for the end customer?