Friday, December 23, 2011

Can Microsoft, Nokia, Apple, Amazon win the indoor location services race?

All the big players (Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, etc) are working hard to move into what will be the next big thing in mobile location services, indoor or micro location. Google has made it first with it's latest Google Maps for Android feature that pinpoints users inside airports, malls, etc to a few meters thanks to either RF fingerprinting and or special WiFi nodes deployed in these venues. Microsoft has already launched indoor maps for malls and airports, but it is still lacking real-time indoor location to pinpoint users on those venue maps. Both Microsoft and Nokia have done a lot of R&D on indoor location and have many patents in this area. Maybe the next Windows Phone will have some of this technology.. Apple seems to be behind in this space, with no intellectual property. Amazon has not even started on the "outdoor" location services and the Kindle Fire tablet lacks WiFi location capability. See more on how these and 100 other companies are competing and aligning in this space here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nokia 3D Indoor Mapping and Location Service

Nokia is planning to depend on 3D floor layouts and to get Bluetooth 4.0 (similar to iPhone iOS 5) on to devices or on a tag in addition to locator equipment installed in the ceilings to create a 3D map of a venues and an indoor location system accurate up to 21cm. Nokia has reached out to more than 30 companies to make the project a reality. If the initiative carries enough momentum, the Bluetooth SIG could set the new protocol as a standard. Nokia hopes that it will in consumer products by 2013, but it will probably take longer than that. This whole thing is dependent on installing the locator equipment in their buildings.