You know navigation systems from your everyday life. For example, when you drive an unknown route with the car and use a navigation software to reach your destination. But what ist the difference between indoor and outdoor navigation?
We’ll briefly explain what indoor navigation is, how it works and what possibilities the different indoor navigation technologies offer for a variety of markets. Consider this article as a quick overview of the topic of indoor navigation, which is also known as indoor wayfinding or wayfinding in general, without getting too much into the technical details. If you need further information, just ask.
How indoor navigation works:
Indoor Navigation means the flexible guidance of people in confusing, unknown buildings and building complexes. The user of an indoor navigation system gets his own location displayed on a map on his own smart device. After selecting a destination or a point of interest, a route to the selected destination is displayed on the map. The user’s position in and around the building is permanently updated by indoor positioning, so that the device always shows the current position on the route. Because the position is calculated on the user’s device, this is called client-side positioning.
The so-called inertial sensors built into the device as standard, for example the gyroscope (rotation sensor), are also used for indoor positioning and indoor navigation. The result is a turn-by-turn indoor navigation.
Indoor GPS is often referred to in this context. In fact, Favendos indoor location system can also detect which floor a user is on. A system based on GPS cannot do this. A service, that is free of charge and offers you almost the same possibilities, is Google Maps Indoor Navigation. The disadvantage is, that the relevant building plans must be submitted to Google for using the service.
Indoor Navigation based on signal strength
What advantages do indoor positioning technologies offer?
By navigating comfortably to the desired point, indoor navigation helps to save the user time and nerves, regardless of the specific application.
Indoor location systems or navigation apps are therefore used at airports and railway stations, in hospitals and office buildings as well as in large shopping centres. Sports stadiums and multi-functional arenas also rely on indoor navigation. In the tourism sector, the cruise provider MSC Cruises stands out, which with our help offers indoor navigation on its ships.
Using proximity functions, like proximity marketing, users can also be addressed at certain points via “push message” or certain content can be transmitted to them – for example about exhibitors, shop offers or information about the technical equipment of the building. So indoor location technologies offer you a lot more opportunities than just wayfinding.
Wayfinding in an office building of Phoenix Contact based on
Favendos Commander SDK and BLE-Beacon infrastructure:
What technology is behind Indoor Navigation?
The technical basis of wayfinding is a permanent localization of the user. For this purpose the building or infrastructure is equipped with a number of transmitters. The smartphone equipped with a corresponding app calculates its own position based on the signal strength of the transmitters. Favendo uses Bluetooth Low Energy transmitters, so-called beacons. The BLE technology is sufficiently accurate, very robust and comparatively inexpensive.
With beacons, an accuracy of at least three to five meters can be guaranteed. In most cases, however, a much more accurate positioning of up to one meter is achieved. The accuracy depends strongly on the architectural conditions (building material, height and size of the installations, etc.) and the experience of the beacon planners. We achieve the highest accuracy even in environments made entirely of steel.
Favendo is the trusted partner for superior Real Time Location Services. Our Team is committed to providing timely and cost effective solutions for cruise industry, large shopping malls, public venues, industrial surroundings and more. To offer our customers the most suitable system we partner with Quuppa and Abeeway.
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