What is Indoor Positioning and do I need it?
In simple terms – indoor positioning enables a user to locate their position within an indoor environment. While we typically rely on a Google Maps, Waze or Apple Maps to help us get around in the outdoors, this is not possible for indoors as there is no GPS signal to determine your location accurately.
This then opens the door for all the indoor positioning solution providers. In a crude way they fall into two camps, those that offer a hardware free option relying on Wi-Fi routers and the internal tech of smartphones and those that utilise beacon technology. There are hybrid options and you will need to evaluate all options based on your business needs. Do you need 1 meter accuracy or is being within 5 meters sufficient? Do I need to install a different provider for iOS and Android? These are just a taster of what you need to be thinking about.
The next question to ask is ‘why do I need positioning indoors?’ This will then help frame the type of solution provider you ought to seek out to deliver your goals.
Hopefully that makes sense, if not please get in touch and we can hopefully clarify any questions you have.
I will not list all out all the possible use cases for indoor positioning as my list could be endless, however it is one thing have a use case, it is a different question when it comes to an execution of this use case. The fact is, that like with a lot of tech, your use cases needed to be tempered with the reality of using this technology.
We would typically advise a step by step approach especially if the use case is customer facing – i.e. wayfinding in a venue (Shopping Mall / Airport / Stadium etc). The reality is that there are CX considerations; for example, the time it takes for the solution to find your location, the accuracy of that location and how it interacts when you are using turn by turn directions. For some reason our expectations for indoor positioning tend to be higher from our demands from on Google maps outside (do we really achieve 1 meter accuracy?) so why should indoor be considerably better? My note here is to be realistic on what you are looking to achieve and build your Roadmap with the end user in mind.
I constantly see market size growth numbers and the dollar opportunity that can be derived from indoor positioning but let’s be realistic, as your customers in most scenarios have not even been exposed to an indoor digital map so there is often an expectation gap between the end user and the provider.
The key take-away is to understand the fundamentals of what you are looking to achieve and then lay out what you need in place, for example:
- Do I need this to work across iOS, Android and Web? Why?
- How do I integrate into my existing IT set-up?
- What is the use case and how do I see the roadmap?
- I want indoor positioning but how do I visualise the user positioning – ‘blue dot’?
- I want Point to help me – but how do I get in touch? That one is easy – email us @ indoor@point-consulting
Point’s indoor map solution enables interactive digital maps, wayfinding and indoor positioning to be effortlessly integrated into both mobile and web-based applications.Our solution is being used in a variety of ways across key sectors; from improving the customer experience in airports and shopping malls, to supporting venue operations and maintenance.
Learn more – email@example.com