“It’s not that we use technology, We live technology”
The above quote by the American filmmaker “Godfrey Reggio” sums up everything when it comes to technology. It’s a fact that overtime technology has become the way of life. Just try to imagine our lives without it, even the thought seem scary, as we have acclimated our lives around it.
In this era, everyone has a mobile phone, apart from its basic usage like calling, connecting socially and staying connected with the world, It has become a guide too. It assists you to locate best way by giving you real time instructions until you reach your destination. The smartphone is able to do it by using Global positioning system applications. Over the years, the technology has enforced specific navigation and positioning application, which will assist you to guide even within the indoor vicinity of properties which a conventional Navigation application is unable to map. The application assists you when you are trying to locate food joints, a restaurant or any other specific location at jammed market place, so all one has to do is touch a indoor navigation app and rest assured, now that application will be your real time guide till the time you reach your destination. It is as good as a virtual guide.
What is Indoor Positioning System?
It could be called as a GPS for the indoor navigation, Indoor Positioning system refers to application that assists us to find people, location and routes indoor. The position information is being stored in an application program to make the data even more productive for the future navigation references.
Now a days there are number of effective technologies for indoor navigation, below are the major ones which are being used commonly.
- Vicinity Based Technology
- Wireless Fidelity Based Technology
- Ultra Wide-Band Technology
- Acoustical Technology
- Frequency Based Technology
What is the function of an Indoor Navigation Application?
Indoor navigation application counts on collected information from several resources to detect customers location. The input information will be Information fetched from mobile sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, etc.
After pursuing the aforementioned technique, the user wouldn’t have to get worried about the directions and routes. This navigation technique bank on three distinct factors, one would be the inherent dynamic aligning method platform, guiding transmitted signs that are fetched from a mobile, and finally then catered to the indoor locating system.
This procedure adds the data from several sources to figure out the location of a user.
The input data comprises:
- Location mapping (data including lifts, stairways, and hindrances are most important elements)
- Indications from transmitters (Wireless fidelity & Beacon access points)
- Fetched data from mobile users (Gyroscope & Accelerometer)
Hence, an Indoor Navigating Process needs:
- Building map
- A mobile with a correct map
- Back-end servers
- Fingerprinting & BLE Beacons
- As per the popular researchers survey, the worldwide prediction for indoor navigator technology which in 2016 was recorded for USD 5.3 billion is predicted to increase by approx. 42% and hence would be more than USD 40.9 billion by the year 2022.
- North America has been predicted to be the biggest player when it comes to the market of indoor navigation application across the world.
- As so far North America has been the epic center for the business of the world indoor navigation application business. The region has seen the major evolution in the indoor navigation business.
Business utilities of the applications
- Indoor positioning & direction application is actually very effective for businesses as they can use it in multiple ways. Indoor location applications are of utmost importance to map big business land sites like airport, huge Shopping centers, And Amusement parks etc.
- All the above enterprises occupy massive area, because of which it becomes challenging for the customer to locate a specific location quickly. This problem is resolved effectively by indoor location & navigating applications.
- The processing of these applications might confuse the users like, how to go about a specific app? But, the development of the advanced technologies has contributed a lot to these apps and helped these apps to cater their users in a much better manner.
The information that these application displays are as follows:
The position feature discovers the target location within a huge premise using the internal navigation app, as per the real time location of the user.
It finds the shortest way to reach their target location and not only roads, it also suggests the shortest routes to reach parking or for that matter ways to specific locations inside huge shopping hubs and community centers too.
This characteristic in the indoor navigating application notifies the user time and again in respect to their real time location on the mobile.
How does this application help the users?
The utility of Indoor Navigation for customers can’t be defined, so it’s time now to put across the key benefits of theses application for a user,
- The application offers simple search options for the customers. So a user finds no difficultly to find the best routes for their destination as the map reflects real time positioning so all one needs to do follow the steps notified by the application.
- The application simplifies the search for the best route for their destination as it comprises a feature of voiced guide for directions as well.
Features of Indoor Navigation Apps:
Feature in the application finds the customer’s destined location, utilizing several locating systems, on instant point in time.
This feature reflects the quickest way towards the destination; analytics showcase the density of individuals present at real time in the building or land site.
It supports the managers to handle the beacons and they will be able to lay up promotional activities, etc.
The navigation assists in locating the quickest and easiest way and also suggests the customers that way towards their destination.
It suggests data and information regarding the count of people at the destination in real time.
The application continues notifying the customer about the route and directions until the customer reaches the destination.
Importance of Indoor Navigation Application for the Businesses Entities:
The benefits of Indoor Navigation for Business are as follows:
1. The evolutions and modifications done to the app might confuse the user for eg; as simple as how to operate the application, but the good news is that arrival of high-end technology has made the app more user friendly and has constantly tried to serve the customer in a better manner.
2. The indoor navigator app has shown how effective it could be in the testing times specifically when the huge business establishments like an airport, Amusement parks, and shopping hubs are spread in vast space.
3. This enhanced technology can be also very beneficial in the warehouse, corporate office, Institutions and health centers etc., as it help the people to reach the location using shortest path or precise directions avoiding any confusion.
4. This app has emerged out of necessity for big land sites as when it comes to the huge establishments the GPS aren’t effective, hence the application is productive for the mobile users, to get to their respective location.
Used Cases for Indoor Navigation:
Indoor positioning is being utilized in several states of affairs. It assists people to reach their respective locations or destinations, Indoor positioning also render productive information to the premises authorities, facilities managers, and sales coordinators.
Community Health Centers:
Indoor Positioning application helps the guests, patients, and professionals in the hospital. Visitants and users looking for a specific ward or department will be able to locate without wandering around with the help so the application, step by step directions to the users would always relieve the people who are already stressed and it could be lifesaving at the time of crisis when a patient needs emergency attention.
Looking for a meeting hall, washroom, or department becomes a cake walk with indoor positioning in offices. , employees can always map out which meeting halls are vacant.
Shopping malls and large stores:
The basic usage of indoor positioning in shopping hubs is to cater the customers with step by step directions to a specific store. In bigger malls, it assists one to look for specific category of products.
Institutions are adopting latest technologies in their buildings. A competent institution chooses to facilitate the building or campus with the indoor positioning system so the students are able to use the resources provided by the institutions like libraries, laboratory, etc. without wasting time.
Indoor positioning technology can make a huge difference at airports where in boarding notifications, updated fight schedules can make a travelers life very easy. This technology will be a savior who is running against time in order to catch the flight, with prescribed step by step directions so they can always reach the right boarding area in minimum time.
Multi-level Car Parking:
Parking stands at airports, shopping centers, and several centers can occupy large spaces with numerous levels, making it a dilemma for the users to find their own vehicle but the indoor positioning system can get one to navigate easily.
Usage in Corporate/Used cases:
Navigation in huge office buildings can be troublesome, for the professionals and visitants. Indoor positioning system facilitates navigation, enhances workflows and definitely saves lot of productive time.
Real-time Office Navigation:
It offers an indoor positioning system that assists visitants and professionals to easily reach their destination.
Find your subordinates:
It’s always effective when one needs to look for his subordinate or fellow employees, when one is not sure about their location. With the indoor navigator application one will be are able to look for the whereabouts of their fellow employee in real time.
By using navigation techniques one can improve the data security and always manage the visitors visiting your corporate premises. One saves on lot of time and also able to structure the visitors flow in the office premises avoiding the mismanagement.
How Indoor Navigation works?
The application deals with navigation within buildings. As GPS reception is generally non-existent inside buildings, other positioning technologies are used here when automatic positioning is desired. Wi-Fi or beacons (Bluetooth Low Energy, BLE) are often used in this case to create a so-called “indoor GPS”. Contrary to GPS, however, they also enable you to determine the actual floor level. Most applications require an “indoor routing” functionality that guides people precisely through a building using an indoor navigation app and in this way, automatically determines their position – very similar to the navigation systems that we use in our cars.
A specific app is step-by-step
Directing app (platform showcasing routes in a digital representation) utilized for Railway station, Amusement park, Shopping centers etc. Such type of app is potent to get several other jobs done. Though, indoor positioning could be achieved without automated navigation – for e.g., when a digitized map is amalgamated into a site or in a digitized signage process (multiple-tap booth/Interactional terminal). In such cases, no positioning mechanism is needed (Wi-Fi, beacons).
Components necessary for Indoor Navigator Application:
Though even indoor navigator applications require several hardware and these equipment’s are categorized into three main types and in order to ensure accuracy this approach should be interact with each other.
Wireless Fidelity points:
These points serve as signaling communicators , however these never figure out user location , alternatively your mobile does that and this ends up draining the battery.
These have long lasting battery and approximately nine to ten feet compassing accuracy, the commuting signals are assisted by android and IOS smart phone, apart from BLE Beacon supported positioning method detects the path via server and hence it extinguishes the excess burden on the customer’s smart phone. To get it done the customers position needs to be in the scope of minimum 3 Belcons, this process is termed as triangulation procedure.
This process utilizes a devices native navigational instrument and geomagnetic navigator at the locale, but for the same the magnetic area has to be steady.
How a navigation app using beacons can be helpful?
The location detecting beacons can discover a client or visitor within the prescribed proximity. So a business can always attract the visitors and customers in the vicinity by sharing a message or notifications to their smartphones. Also the businesses can notify about the offers and sale is going on.
Applications internal search:
If a customer or client is looking for a specific place or commodity, it will notify the customer precise route to that location.
Inventory & Asset Tracking:
In big warehouses and manufacturing units it helps to keep a track of products, departments, assets with the use of an indoor navigator app.
Technology Required for Indoor Navigation Apps:
The indoor navigator technology works on a procedure more or less like Global positioning system using Beacons in the establishments, instead of following the signals transmitted via satellites.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi:
It is widely known that, there are number of businesses which are functioning with wireless technology like Bluetooth instead of going for the satellite. Indoor positioning technology when working via Bluetooth is congruous, accurate with a wide range of technologies. But it tends to have a small functional range. Moreover, the Wi-Fi-based indoor navigation system has great potential, when it comes to the area-size. The systems based on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth do not require any kind of additional hardware, as they can keep track of the user’s location, with a reference to other wireless internet-connected mobile devices.
Magnetic Imaging and Light:
The indoor positioning application never relies on the transmission received from the satellite, not even on the wireless fidelity or Bluetooth connection. The smart phone utilizes Indoor Atlas as it comprises of a compass that discovers magnetized fields, which the premises structure creates within. This app is more useful when a company already has a map of its building available for the use of the app. The technology has given an indoor localization a new face, however, the range of use is still less.
Price of creating an Indoor navigator application:
Below are the main factors which decide the cost of an application:
Platform of the Application:
Select among the two platforms which you look up to in the very first development phase, actually it needs long time to go for both the platforms. One can always go for another one afterwards launching the 1st version.
The application has to look attractive and must have an appealing interface to occupy the interest of customers for longer period of time, more time user spends on our app better for the business.
An amazing design will need more investment, so always keep in mind that you can always better the design in version two, so one has to have a balanced approach as it greatly affects the cost.
Size of Application:
Size of the application is directly proportional to the list of features, functions, user info etc. More the features, higher the size. So one has to find out what is the need in the first versions as the left out features could be updated in the upcoming versions.
Lot of companies and businesses hire android programmers and just give them the creative freedom to design the app as the programmers have envisioned. But there are lot of factors other than hiring that must be kept in mind in order to develop an indoor navigation application, as the application can cost you a fortune if you are not be able supervise its features, as there are many added features which cost a bomb but initially you might not need those in the version one of your application. Once you get an application developed then too you will have to update it in regular intervals.
These are couple of services one has to pay just after the application has been developed:
- Arbitrary services
- Paid subscriptions to fetch a certain position or place as well as for PaaS (platform-as-a-service)
- Servers, as one will plan to build a server, as the server is the storage bank where in one must keep the complete mapping knowledge with the directions.
- The BLE beacons are the ones to channel the push info and updates to the customer.
- Mobile/Updates- Indoor navigator applications need latest updates in timely fashion, to refrain issues.
Required Team Structure:
- Requisite Analyst
- Project Head
- UI/UX Graphic designer
- Web developer
- Quality Analyst and Tester
That’s not all though, one has to share his needs openly and one has to confirm that the chosen mobile app and web developing company is competent enough to deliver the application which you had envisioned.
Visual Positioning System is the latest attribute added in the Google Maps. This technique detects the nearby environ by the help of the customers camera of the users smart phone, and then projects an inflated 3D way such as lit-up projectiles and accurate steps, on the smart phones.
If one is preparing to build and develop an indoor navigator application one has to have a project designed by an experienced team of experts. The general suggestion would be to plan each phase before straight away getting in to development. Though, this technology has been a fruitful investment for the investors and as per predictions it is going to soar in future.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.