[Editor's note: First we had GPS, than we got cell phone tower triangulation and outdoor WiFi hotspot triangulation. Next up: indoor triangulation via wireless hotspot locations. I hope this makes it to the iPhone, too!]
Have you ever been in a rush to catch your connecting flight in the airport, without knowing exactly where to head? How about that beautiful Monet painting, still haven’t seen it in the museum and there is only 30 minutes left before the museum closes? Need to find your favourite fashion outlet quickly in a new shopping mall?
Today, you can already use your mobile outside to navigate to your destination – driving or walking. In the future, indoor positioning will make it possible to find your way indoors. Your mobile will show your location inside the building, find the point of interest your searching for and then guide you there. This technology, could even find your friend when it’s time to go home.
How does this work?
The mobile uses the buildings’ WLAN infrastructure to triangulate your position and then indicates where you are on a building map. Nokia prototypes today can show your location – building section and floor level. They allow you to browse the building, find points of interest and you can even share your position with the people you choose, when you want. Today Nokia has Indoor Positioning trials ongoing within 40 buildings worldwide.
In order to enable indoor positioning in buildings, the indoor positioning solution requires a list of available WLAN access points and their approximate location in the building. Based on this list, which often already exist due to network planning, the indoor position is calculated. Nokia is working on and testing algorithms capable of finding your indoor position to within a few meters.