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Indoor Navigation, The new gold rush? | BDNooZ November 9, 2009

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[…] The New York Times published in October Stops and Starts of GPS Apps “… those portable devices [GARMIN, TOMTOM etc] are under attack from a new source: the smartphone, and particularly Apple’s iPhone. The newest version of the iPhone’s operating system supports turn-by-turn navigation … According to a report from the iSuppli research firm, GPS applications for smartphones are about to explode, growing from 2.5 percent of users today to 10.5 percent in 2013. And half of those will be iPhone owners…”Even Forbes Magazine refers to this trend in warfare terms Google’s Navigation Bombshell “…Location-based service providers suspect the search giant is working on a free navigation app… Google, which generally gives its software away for free and recoups its investment through advertising, would likely sell ads within the navigation application rather than charge users… In early October, Google decided to use this data for its U.S. maps, ending a licensing agreement with map provider Tele Atlas…The shift is telling because companies like Tele Atlas require partners such as Google to pay fees for each person who uses their data…” […]

Avoiding the competitor’s strengths and striking at their weaknesses

All (accurate) navigation systems are based on GPS data. If the weakness of GPS receivers is that they need a clear view to the sky to successfully determine location, the strategy is to attack the indoor world. Additionally, the GPS accuracy lies between 50 to 500 feet, the strategy then is to find customers that need higher accuracy (~10 feet). The third, but not the last weakness, is the need for maps. As we saw before, Google has generated large amount of map data, and in general the market is dominated by TeleAtlas and Navteq. The strategy is to navigate to “uncharted territories”.

Redefining the Battleground – Embracing indoor navigation.

A few weeks ago I was approached by an inventor with a (published) patent. The general idea calls for an indoor navigation system that uses no GPS data. His idea is very good and to my judgment relatively easy to implement.

The system automatically detects a signal directly from sensors, without requiring the communication with a central system, data plans, or even cellular communication. These sensors are small pocketsize Bluetooth transceivers. There is no need for pairing as every Bluetooth device’s tag has a unique ID. This ID can be used for locating the tag.

Indoor navigation – A winning strategy that redefines the navigation ecosystem?

There is infinite number of indoor navigation applications. The most intuitive one is a person walking into a mall that wishes to locate a specific store, or a particular aisle in a department store or even a specific item on a shelf! From here, you can apply the same principle to a customer looking for a specific conference room, a particular booth in a tradeshow, a ride in an amusement park, or a known piece of art in a museum. If not for the convenience, do it to save a tree. No more printed maps. Go Green!!!

The advantage of using Bluetooth is that this technology is ubiquitous, it’s implemented everywhere. Additionally, is a low cost, low power technology, and when it’s relatively free of obstruction it can provide a ~2 meter error range. Furthermore, a Bluetooth infrastructure can be used for purposes like remote monitoring and control among others.

The ecosystem is completely redefined. An architect with CAD drawings is now a map provider. Every single facility is now a navigable site. Every big retailer willing to drive customers to specific products is a potential customer (they can “route” them through the sales isles if they want).  Every shopping property management firm is a customer, as well as convention centers organizations or associations like the Global Retail Executive Council.

We have an ecosystem where the traditional navigation giants are not necessarily present, and there is no defined leader (yet-11/09).

The business opportunity – define a new market

Indoor Navigation redefines Location Based Services as we know them today. The first companies to enter this market will be able to define, create, implement and license ($) new standards and applications. Imagine this: I installed an indoor navigation application in my phone/PDA and subsequently downloaded the map of the mall I usually go to. Next week I’ll visit San Francisco, and upon arrival I would like to visit a local shopping center, or use it at the convention I’ll attend. My application will be useful ONLY if the map of that SF mall or convention center is compatible with the one installed in my phone. For sure I’ll NOT install an additional application per site I visit. This is just the tip of the iceberg. […]

via Indoor Navigation, The new gold rush? | BDNooZ.


Official Google Blog: Announcing Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 October 28, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Today we’re excited to announce the next step for Google Maps for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices.[…]

Here are seven features that are possible because Google Maps Navigation is connected to the Internet:

The most recent map and business data
When you use Google Maps Navigation, your phone automatically gets the most up-to-date maps and business listings from Google Maps — you never need to buy map upgrades or update your device. And this data is continuously improving, thanks to users who report maps issues and businesses who activate their listings with Google Local Business Center.

Search in plain English
Google Maps Navigation brings the speed, power and simplicity of Google search to your car. If you don’t know the address you’re looking for, don’t worry. Simply enter the name of a business, a landmark or just about anything into the search box, and Google will find it for you. Then press “Navigate”, and you’re on your way.

Search by voice
Typing on a phone can be difficult, especially in the car, so with Google Maps Navigation, you can say your destination instead. Hold down the search button to activate voice search, then tell your phone what you want to do (like “Navigate to Pike Place in Seattle”), and navigation will start automatically.

Traffic view
Google Maps Navigation gets live traffic data over the Internet. A traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along your route. If there’s a jam ahead of you, you’ll know. To get more details, tap the light to zoom out to an aerial view showing traffic speeds and incidents ahead. And if the traffic doesn’t look good, you can choose an alternate route.

Search along route
For those times when you’re already on the road and need to find a business, Google Maps Navigation searches along your route to give you results that won’t take you far from your path. You can search for a specific business by name or by type, or you can turn on popular layers, such as gas stations, restaurants or parking.

Satellite view
Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop to help you get to your destination. Turn on the satellite layer for a high-resolution, 3D view of your upcoming route. Besides looking cool, satellite view can help you make sense of complicated maneuvers.

Street View
If you want to know what your next turn looks like, double-tap the map to zoom into Street View, which shows the turn as you’ll see it, with your route overlaid. And since locating an address can sometimes be tricky, we’ll show you a picture of your destination as you approach the end of your route, so you’ll know exactly what to look for.

Since there’s nothing quite like seeing the product in action, we made this video to demonstrate a real-life example:

The first phone to have Google Maps Navigation and Android 2.0 is the Droid from Verizon. Google Maps Navigation is initially available in the United States. And like other Google Maps features, Navigation is free.

via Official Google Blog: Announcing Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0.

OpenStreetMap: the free map data revolution? July 13, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets.
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A very extensive 3 page article on OSM, comparison with commercial competitors and also challenges for success:

[…] Created in 2004 with the idea to build a free, worldwide digital map, OSM is now over 130,000 participants (they were 100,000 in March) with an accelerating growth.

As a result, the map database produced by the community is growing at a fast pace. In May there was over 33 million kilometers of roads in the database. European capitals such as Berlin, Amsterdam, London and many others have been mapped to a level of details that is in many place far superior to Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ. As an example, a few months ago some German volunteers mapped the Berlin Zoo to a unique level of details, quickly followed by the Amsterdam Zoo from Dutch volunteers stimulated by the German example. […]

via OpenStreetMap: the free map data revolution?.

Can you find me now? – FierceWireless May 27, 2009

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Can you find me now? – FierceWireless.

== The future of navigation and LBS applications ==

[…] The possibilities for LBS apps are endless. Social networking applications converged with navigation are not yet big moneymakers, but may have potential. In addition, enterprise solutions based on GPS tracking will likely experience strong growth because of the sustainability of the business model.

These burgeoning applications and potential business models are examined in this feature, which is divided into specific sections:

Carriers – the giant in the room
Paid vs. free: which business model prevails?
Social networking holds potential
Enterprise – a sure bet

Why Location Awareness Will Make the Web More Useful May 24, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Why Location Awareness Will Make the Web More Useful.

[…] For the longest time, we have associated such location-services with automobile navigation devices and mobile phones. But recent efforts, most notably those of Yahoo, have brought location into the realm of the wired web. Here are some recent announcements that point to the emergence of a location-aware web.

Of the three recent developments, Yahoo’s is the most important. […] You can send unstructured data to the Placemaker and it spits out such data in a location-aware format.[…]


glympse goes live on Android — NaviGadget May 24, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets.
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glympse goes live on Android — NaviGadget.

Glympse is a service that lets you share your location for a specified amount of time from an instant, to 2 minutes, or to a few hours. It really is a good alternative to those short phone conversations updating multiple people where you are and even easier than texting. What you do with glympse is either “send” or “receive” one. The good part is the receiver never has to install any applications – they just need to click on a URL sent out by the service. Being constantly watched is a scary idea but the timer function of glympse should give you a bit of a peace of mind knowing any glympse you sent will eventually expire.


An interesting article about testing the service could found under:
Sharing Where You Are When You Care to Share