We live in a world where the real and the unreal live side by side, where substance is disguised as illusion. Half-truths and misinformation are leading to the spread of myths, that may or may not hold some truth to them.
Today we want to dive into the mystical depths of the Indoor Positioning and Navigation universe. Can you tell myth from fact?
Indoor Positioning works just like GPS
One of the first things you need to know about Indoor Positioning is that, although it follows the same principle as outdoor navigation, it does not work with GPS. Why is that? The answer is simple – Due to a massive Line Of Sight (LOS) obstruction caused by walls and other obstacles, GPS signals fail to work indoors.
This makes a novel solution approach necessary and has led to the emergence of several different technologies. Ranging from optical, geomagnetic and lighting solutions to Beacons, the possibilities are wide spread. indoo.rs uses a combination of iBeacons technology, smartphone sensors and intelligent algorithms to achieve the best possible Indoor Positioning results.
Learn more about indoo.rs Indoor Positioning
The more Beacons you use, the better the results
If you are opting for a solution that uses Beacons- the tiny little radio transmitters that are mounted on walls- do not be fooled by this myth. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how many Beacons are needed for an Indoor Positioning System. In fact, it depends very much on the nature of the project – are you trying to enable Indoor Navigation at an exhibition hall, a retail space, an airport, or somewhere else entirely?
Given the different shapes and layouts of these buildings (e.g. exhibition halls are often huge open spaces with high walls whereas retail spaces can be more confined), the installation of Beacons follows different rules. This also means a varying amount of Beacons will be required, depending on the layout.
Before you order your hardware, you should have an approximate estimation of how much to buy. If you run short of Beacons and cannot fully cover the area you want to enable Indoor Positioning and Navigation in, it will affect accuracy negatively.
Should you think that you can avoid this by using more Beacons than are actually necessary, “just to be safe”, you are wrong. Less is not always more, but in this case, more is not more either. You’ll have to find the golden mean. Installing excess Beacons may even cause disruptions in your positioning accuracy, which you definitely want to avoid.
Every project needs top level accuracy
One of the biggest misconceptions about Indoor Positioning and Navigation projects is that only top accuracy leads to success. While high accuracy is never a bad thing and, of course, desirable in many cases, it is also important to know that some use cases can achieve the same results with lower accuracy, meaning also lower effort and project expenses.
Businesses interested in Indoor Positioning usually imagine technology to always be 100% accurate. While everyone does strive for perfection and highest quality, 100% is a high benchmark and not very likely to achieve.
What most people also tend to forget about is that when navigating along a route to a certain point of interest, and the shown POI is two meters off the actual POI, in general you would still be able to recognize the POI as such without any problem.
Read more about our project with Kaleida Health
Indoor Positioning also needs Indoor Maps
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that you require a map of your indoor venue to enable Indoor Navigation. Some people still seems to be confused about this, though. A simple hand-drawn floorplan will not do. The initial map to start out with, should be as precise as possible to ensure the digitally crafted map later in the process accurately represents the building.
Creating a digital map of your building is one part of the mapping process. The other is to take recordings inside the building that will allow you to get accurate positioning on the map later on.
On a side note, what also sometimes discourages people is the number of components needed to get an Indoor Positioning System up and running, when it really is quite simple. You need Beacons, Indoor Maps an Indoor Positioning solution and somebody to help you get all this up and running? indoo.rs offers an all-in-one solution.
Learn more about Indoor Mapping
We hope we could help clarify some of the myths surrounding Indoor Positioning and Navigation with this post. If you have any further questions or would like to get support with your project, get in touch with us now!