The Future of Indoor Navigation

GPS has had a significant influence on how most of us get around to venues. For instance, if a new club or Starbucks sets up shop in one’s area, it is not necessary to ask for directions. A simple mapping app will get one to where they need to be. However, once inside a venue such as a museum or other historical site, the fun ends there. Most people end up circling aimlessly and miss all the fun. However, this is going to change in the near future thanks to indoor positioning system.

Technology Giants Leading the Way
Google is already at the forefront of most major technological innovations these days. Thus, it was no surprise when they collaborated with Lenovo on Project Tango. The project is geared towards making indoor navigation a reality in the near future. Google has been conducting such experiments for quite a while now. By bringing in Lenovo, they demonstrate that they are ready to bring the technology to the world.

Still in Development
Google has been conducting controlled experiments on the technology in some key landmarks. For instance, they have experimented with the technology inside the Google headquarters. In addition, the technology has been tested out in a section of the national museum of art in Barcelona. The technology is quite similar to Google maps. One simply follows a dotted line around, projected on the camera view. It makes getting to important sites like important paintings much faster.

Project Tango
The Projects Tango is dependent on the device itself. It uses a combination of sensors and augmented reality to highlight features of importance to users. The sensors help to map the 3D environment of the building with ease. As a result, if one were to hover over a specific piece of art, they get more details about it. Even tiny paintings that one might ordinarily miss are highlighted, and one becomes more enlightened.

Project Tango Phones to Launch Soon
Although Google has developed the indoor navigation technology, they need a partner to make it commercially viable. Towards this end, they gave Lenovo the green light to launch the first devices. The initial demonstration phone is less than 6.5 inches. However, with most Google projects being open source, companies like Samsung could soon launch their version of devices based on the technology.

After the launch, the biggest challenge will be getting device makers to create compatible devices. However, this is a challenge that the company has faced before with the launch of the Android phones. Also, getting malls, museums, and other places to sign up could be quite challenging. Although indoor navigation is still not a reality, there is a lot of hope of Google on its potential.

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