5 November 10 Years of infsoft – 10 Years of Indoor Navigation – 10 Technical Milestones 2 MIN READ November 5, 2015 By Gina Wurms company news 0 In the year 2005, indoor navigation was still at the very beginning. Computer science student Tobias Donaubauer at that time developed a terminal solution for the university hospital Würzburg and founded his own company. We looked back and identified 10 milestones, which have characterized the indoor navigation industry over the past 10 years. What has been trendy, which techniques were the most promising ones and which ones have finally won through? 2005 Terminal solutions were a common thing in public buildings. We developed a terminal for visitor guidance at university hospital Würzburg. Smartphones didn’t exist at that time. Thus, small Wi-Fi enabled tags had to be attached to people and objects, in order to determine their position. We called them „GOin.tag“. 2006 At a time, when smartphones didn’t exist yet, many people owned a „personal digital assistant“ (PDA). Those devices didn’t have an internet connection, you couldn’t use them as phone and most of them ran on “Windows mobile”. Do you remember the small plastic pens which were necessary to work with them? We developed a mobile visitor guidance system for the Daimler plant in Sindelfingen. infsoft products from 2006 2007 Finally, the first iPhone was sold in November 2007 and made the smartphone suitable for mass use. It is hard to imagine today that it had no GPS receiver and no smartphone sensors such as magnetometer and accelerometer. But unlike its successors from iOS 4.3.x on, it was possible to detect its position with Wi-Fi. Nevertheless, positioning was roughly possible with the first iPhone generation: In outside areas via triangulation of mobile radio cells (accuracy 50 meters) and in inside and outside areas via interpretation of known Wi-Fi access points (accuracy 5-15 meters). 2008 The iPhone 3G finally had a GPS receiver – which enabled exact positioning and navigation in the open air. Based on the iPhone, infsoft develops the “Lufthansa navigator” – our first smartphone app! Wi-Fi was used for positioning here. Ever-improving hardware has positive effect on user experience and positioning quality. 2009 The iPhone 3GS had an integrated magnetometer. This sensor measures the strength and the orientation of the Earth’s magnetic field. A big step forward for indoor navigation! 2010 The gyroscope and other sensors integrated into the iPhone 4 improve usability and allow virtual reality applications, which can also be used for indoor navigation. infsoft Wi-Fi positioning in 2010 2011 In March, Apple introduces a new firmware, which no longer supports positioning via Wi-Fi. At the same time, apps for Android become more important because the operating system becomes more popular and doesn’t restrict positioning via Wi-Fi. 2012 infsoft develops an individual positioning hardware (“Locator Nodes”) which allows server-based positioning of all devices. 2013 iOS 7 comes with positioning via BLE – Apple introduces its proprietary standard iBeacon. infsoft picks up the technology, using it in smartphone applications and Locator Nodes. 2015 Google presents its Eddystone beacons, infsoft’s solutions are compatible with. VLC (visible light communication) step by step reaches market maturity – we do research in this field and consider it very interesting for indoor positioning. How can we summarize the development of the past 10 years? Wi-Fi remains an important positioning technology, even if it currently excludes Apple devices. The smartphone boom has revolutionized the whole industry. Beacons offer multiple possibilities and VLC is an interesting and accurate new technology which is on the rise. In complex buildings, it becomes more and more interesting to combine several techniques. Where will the journey be heading? Discuss with us – we're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Get the white paper for free Great introduction to the topic of indoor positioning Download Related Articles Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation Using Wi-Fi Positioning using GPS does not work reliably inside buildings as there is no visual contact with the GPS satellites. A good alternative is indoor positioning using Wi-Fi. An additional advantage compared to GPS is the possibility to determine the current floor level. Read More Indoor Navigation & Indoor Positioning Using Bluetooth Indoor navigation & indoor positioning using Bluetooth - learn more about the pros & cons. Read More The Basics of Indoor Navigation: infsoft Launches New Information Portal The basics of indoor navigation: infsoft launches new information portal www.indoornavigation.com Read More Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation: 7 Use Cases Indoor positioning and indoor navigation: We show you 7 use cases from aviation, public transport, healthcare, tourism, industry, trade fair and retail. Read More Indoor Navigation, Indoor Positioning and Location-Based Services Using VLC (Visible Light Communication) Indoor navigation, indoor positioning and location-based services using VLC (visible light communication). Read More Step-By-Step: Successful Indoor Navigation Setup The successful setup of an indoor navigation can be realized with just a few steps. We take you on a short tour and offer you a step-by-step guide. Read More Comments are closed.