We’ve talked before about indoor and pedestrian navigation and the challenges they pose. As part of the ongoing industry effort to crack that nut, Movea recently announced a demonstration of their indoor navigation skills in France and South Korea. I was trying to parse their announcement carefully to catch the nuances of what they were claiming.
First of all, they claim that this is a “first,” but I think the key qualifier is that this is the first time their capability has been proven in a manner optimized for cellphones.
Second, at times it sounds like this was strictly a dead-reckoning solution, at times not. To be clear, this was a dead-reckoning-plus-map-matching (data fusion) solution. Specifically missing was the use of WiFi or other signals to be used as beacons. It was sensors and maps only.
Third, they mentioned collaboration with SCNF in France (the local rail operator) and a subsidiary of SK Telecom in South Korea. The latter in particular made me wonder whether this solution somehow required the participation of third parties (something I’ll address more fully in a piece tomorrow). The answer is that, fundamentally, no, no third-party involvement is required. What they got from these guys was maps of the train stations. This was the data for the data fusion component. At some point, all such facilities will have been mapped (and Google will probably have the maps), but that’s not the case yet.
So, rounding it out then, Movea demonstrated their platform, optimized for cellphones, which combines dead reckoning and map matching, by having people successfully navigate through busy train stations using their solution. Sounds like a pretty good result. You can get more info in their release.