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Finding the right track at the Zürich main train station using indoor navigation

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has released a new version of their "My Train Station" app. It was developed by the company infsoft from Großmehring near Ingolstadt, which specializes in indoor navigation and indoor services.

Using indoor navigation to find the right track

An interactive map forms the foundation for this app, which has been available for Android and iOS since the beginning of 2015 and has already been downloaded 32,000 times. The revamped design for version 2.0 has been optimized for the iPhone 6/6 Plus, puts more focus on the customer and offers several new features. Approximately 1,200 beacons determine the position of the user who can then be guided to POIs or the right track via indoor navigation. This is of particular interest to connecting passengers in the largest train station in Switzerland. The beacon technology automatically takes into account floor changes and a barrier-free route is also available if desired. Additional functions include the display of arrivals and departures, an event overview, the presentation of stores and restaurants, information on parking and car and bike rentals, as well as navigational integration with public transport.

Meet friends at the train station and shop while on the go

A new function is the "Friend Finder." Users can send a share link to friends via text message or e-mail at the Zürich main train station. It is valid for 30 minutes while showing the user's actual position. The app navigates the recipient directly to the meeting point. It is also integrated into the SBB SpeedyShop. Travelers can order groceries, cosmetics and much more in the online shop while on the go and then pick it up 30 minutes later at the train station. Another new features is the rating function. App users can rate restaurants, stores and other POIs. The number of stars assigned are displayed in the details.

175,000 square meters mapped out

For the interactive map of the train station, approx. 175,000 square meters were digitized and equipped with approximately 1200 beacons. The data handling and definition of route relationships is carried out in tools developed by infsoft GmbH, which can be integrated into the base applications. infsoft CEO Tobias Donaubauer recognizes the advantages in the selected method: "The positioning technology is client-based, which means that positioning takes place on the smartphone with Bluetooth enabled and position data are not forwarded, saved or linked. This gives the user control over his/her data at all times." SBB can check the battery status of the beacons being used at any time via the manufacturer-independent beacon management system "Beacon Alive" from infsoft. The beacons have a battery life of approx. 18 months and offer positioning accuracy up to two to three meters.

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