The need to knows of indoor positioning systems
Why Indoor Positioning?
As you probably know, GPS is the most-used technology for outdoors positioning. It offers an error of the order of some metres, which is more than good enough for people that are walking or driving.
While this level of accuracy is not a limitation for outdoor spaces, it would be pointless to use it Indoors, where the relative error would be extremely large comparatively. The rising interest in this topic has been motivated by both the lack of solutions for this issue, and the versatility that being able to track people indoors would offer.
The vast spectrum of options offered by these technologies ranges from applications in hospitals, supermarkets, airports, schools and museums, to sports analytics and pub crawling.
Even though this “state of the art” area is already being explored by top companies such as Google or Apple, and by strong Start-Ups such as Pozyx or QROK, it leaves an open path to all kinds of innovation.
When it comes to choosing one of the existent technologies, the parameters considered are the ones dictated by logic: Accessibility, Range, Accuracy, Security & Cost.
No one technology proposed in this article is better than the rest. Most of them focus on one or two of the aforementioned parameters.
What can be done with this data?
The data gathered from Indoor Positioning devices or systems can be used in as many ways as imaginable.
It is well-known that Google tracks smartphone positions and analyses this data. They are currently putting some of their focus on Indoor Mapping, which in some way validates that this technologies will be regularly implemented all around the world in the upcoming years.
Most of the uses are statistical, tightly linked to Big Data Analytics. From generating heat flow maps to analysing the effectivity of a marketing strategy.
Indoor positioning systems can make any business more efficient or effective. It can foster customer engagement and improve productivity or risk mitigation. In other words, it can optimize an organization.
If that were not enough, it can play a fundamental role in projects related to:
– Retail Analytics
– Augmented reality
– Navigation aid
– Personalised marketing
– Connecting people in proximity
So either if you are working towards a STEM course, or you just have a good idea, or simply interest in the topic, Indoor Positioning Systems are a great option for conducting research, opening a consultancy start-up, or coming up with big entrepreneurial ideas.