Article source: Christian Carle, CEO and founder of Pole Star
The future of mobile location-based services lies in its rapid adoption of indoor technologies
For more than 20 years, the use of global positioning system, or GPS, has been the gold standard for outdoor navigation. The satellite-based navigation system has become the indispensable tool for anyone to determine their location outside of a building, in a car, on motorways, in the street…
More recently, cell-phone manufacturers have added GPS capabilities to mobile devices which in turn, created new opportunities for existing location-based services (LBS) such as mapping and navigation. While the quick rise of smartphones, and the easy access to more context-aware information, has changed forever the way people live, travel and shop.
But as we rely even more on our smartphone for everyday life, the physical limitations of GPS, which doesn’t work in indoor environments or between tall buildings in dense urban areas, are becoming a real challenge for the next generation of LBS applications. Simply put, for GPS to work, it requires a clear view of the sky, where a receiver has an unobstructed line of sight to satellites, meaning that all the mobile location-based apps, like navigation for example, won’t work indoors, inside airports, malls, museums, subways, etc., which is where we actually need them the most, as we spend a majority of our time indoor. It also happens that 80% of smartphone usage is done inside buildings, making an even stronger case for bringing location technologies indoor.