Introduction to Indoor Navigation Systems

Category: Uncategorized - at: Saturday February 25th, 2017

An indoor navigation system is a system that provides navigation within buildings. The typical GPS that you may use cannot provide accurate navigation within a building and that is where an indoor positioning system (IPS) comes in. An indoor positioning system acts as a GPS, but specifically for buildings. This allows you to navigate throughout a building with accurate and precise location factors such as what floor you are on, where specific offices are, and so forth. Applications of an IPS can be applied to airports, museums, shopping malls, and train stations. Further applications of an indoor GPS system will be discussed later in the article.

Technology used in Indoor Navigation:

Indoor navigation technology relies on mostly custom features, which is why NaviBees performs an audit of the building or location before providing an adequate indoor navigation solution. What this entails is a comprehensive analysis of the building and all the major access points which allows the NaviBees specialists to integrate within all navigation points in a custom app. Most navigation solutions are integrated with a mobile app, which allows customers to install and navigate throughout the building at ease. Beacons are installed within the building that use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology, allowing smartphones to freely interact with the system.

Indoor Navigation through Wi-Fi:

Wi-Fi is a common application of indoor positioning systems because of its ease-of-use. Wi-Fi is the most popular wireless connection technology and comes pre-built with every smartphone or computer. The average range of the wi-fi signal is 5 to 15 meters allowing devices within a building to easily access IPS resources provided by the building for easier navigation.

Beacons and Indoor Navigation Systems:

There are different types of beacons available including the iBeacons that work for iPhone specifically and Eddystone that is for Google. No matter what is the type of beacons, they work through the same system of BLE standard which is the acronym of Bluetooth Low Energy. This feature makes these systems energy efficient. They can work to the range of almost 1 to 3 meters, so they are accurate for an indoor position system. The battery is efficient and can last for almost 1 to 8 years without any disruption depending on the usage.

Indoor navigation through Ultra-wideband:

Ultra-wideband is more popular for use in industries because the accuracy and range of this medium are from 10 to 30 centimeters, making it much more precise that Wi-Fi and beacons. Using this technology, you can identify key structural features such as height differences. However, certain applications and procedures must first be taken for this technology to work.

Common Applications for Indoor Navigation System:

  • Train stations: Using a navigation at a train station allows for a smoother and faster experience. No longer do you have to worry about when the train will leave, where to buy tickets, or what train to get on.
  • Bus stations: Similar to train stations, bus stations that use a navigation system make it much faster an easier to locate the right bus and access arrival/departure schedules
  • Airports: Since airports are often crowded, a navigation system can allow travelers easier navigation to gift shops, restrooms, and more
  • Museums: With many attractions, a navigation system would allow visitors to find the location of specific items/showcases at ease
  • Malls: With so many shopping stores, finding the location of a specific store may be a challenge. Not anymore. An indoor positioning system installed at a mall will solve all navigation problems