It’s already been approximately 15 years since we saw the integration of the GPS (Global Positioning System) into the first mobile phones for civilian use.
Unbeknown to many, what was first introduced and used as a military application has become one of the most heavily relied upon navigation systems now in everyday use. If you’re unfamiliar of the uses you can find indoor map usage detailed here in this article by Mapped In.
Locating new addresses and unfamiliar areas has been made simple and most people don’t think twice when having to drive to an unknown destination, we simply turn on Google Maps.
However, GPS has a flaw…they don’t work accurately enough indoors and signals get lost. Now with modern progressions, the technology is finally here and is ready to become just as integral to our lives as the GPS has. In fact, it’s slowly started being introduced into enclosed spaces and buildings for use and ease of access and navigation indoors.
Are we ready for it and what potential does this new technology hold?
The future beckons
Over the last decade we’ve seen the steady development of Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS), however the full potential that these systems offer, including the many business advantages they lend themself to, are in fact, not being fully utilized.
One industry leader, Mappedin, has high expectations and ambitious plans for what their application is capable of doing.
These innovative IPS leaders have created a digital mapping platform that allows users to navigate indoor spaces and venues using a digitised map. It’s powered by either using a smartphone, website, or digital directory. You can see a full view of the company’s vision here(Hypertext).
Next, let’s look at some of the real-world applications and how using an IPS can work to their benefit.
Some of the world’s largest shopping malls such as The Dubai Mall have already started using IPS, implementing them across their systems.
Imagine being able to locate any store, find bathrooms easily, navigate the closest ATM to suit your preference, and other facilities within the mall instantly? An IPS offers this as well as other features such as notifications for restaurant specials or cinema times as you pass each location.
Other convenient and added features include actual store navigation, so once you enter a shop you will be directed straight to a specific product/s, as well as any special offers or points of interest happening in that particular store.
An extra added bonus? Indoor Positioning Services can even be used to find your car in a parking lot.
As if the actual visit isn’t already stressful enough, oftentimes trying to manoeuvre your way around a hospital becomes a difficult feat.
Implementing IPS within hospitals works out to be beneficial for not only visitors and patients, but more importantly to doctors, nurses and staff.
Using the notification system, staff members can be instantly notified of emergencies, directing them straight to the needed area, which realistically, could be the difference between a life and death situation.
Railway Stations and Airports
Perhaps the biggest game-changer of them all, we all know how utterly complicated trying to pilot your way around an airport can become – especially when you’re in a rush to make a flight or check-in!
The same goes for train stations when trying to purchase even the correct ticket can become daunting.
Added to the already-panicked state, you now need to locate different gates/platforms and areas of the actual airport or station. Using IPS will allow you to locate your desired departure gate, as well as other facilities such as restaurants, tax refund desks, airline lounges and more.
However, this is just a short selection of different applications where IPS is available as well as being implemented, but there are more areas in which the system can be utilised.
Going forward, there are huge plans for these types of systems to be integrated into factories, offices, universities, stadiums, and even museums, with the hopes that IPS will soon become as ubiquitous as the GPS.
As technologies advance, so does society and the need for indoor mapping and navigation services seems to make itself more prevalent these days. In a world that loves convenience, the ease that IPS lends itself to is what makes these types of services so attractive to the modern-day society. With more than a few potential benefits, how soon will it be until we see a full integration of IPS?