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How many people, without a GPS, would get lost as soon as they’d turn the corner? And how many, unable to use GPS indoors, do get lost inside of large, closed parking lots?
Well, Indoor Navigation is here, it’s spreading and it can potentially solve all our orientation problems.
Indoor Navigation: what is it and why is it such a hit?
This technology is very similar to the one that is used by satellite navigation systems, at least as far as it concerns the results, but there’s one difference, the one that changes everything: GPS cannot work in closed environments
, because the signal, due to thick walls and roofs, gets lost. Indoor navigation is a revolution in that it allows to orient oneself even indoors, from the smallest shop to the biggest mall, hospital or airport!
But orientation is not the only benefit this technology can bring: imagine you’re working in a warehouse and need to move items from one point to another. How much time does it take, without technology, to pinpoint the items and then their new location?
Indoor navigation can allow the creation of interactive 3D maps which, thanks to specific apps for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets but also Mixed Reality visors, can make you see the items, in AR, directly on your screen, without even having to look for things that may as well be in the wrong shelf!
Or, for another example, think about having to look for a doctor or a friend in a maze-like hospital and being able to be guided by an app on your smartphone, without risking to open the wrong door or to get to the opposite side of the hospital: even in this case, Indoor Navigation is the solution.
Gatwick and the benefits of using Indoor Navigation in an airport
About 2.5 billion pounds have recently been allocated on a program for the renovation and transformation of the Gatwick airport - this has allowed to install about 2000 Indoor navigation beacons in the structure, helping the 45 million passengers who visit the airport in one year to orient themselves in its two terminals
: in fact, the airport has now a free mobile application giving information on their position, on the departure and arrival times - including delays or cancellations - and on the duty-free discounts.
Just think that, according to the airport, Indoor Navigation is even more reliable than GPS!
The technology used by this app does not register the users’ personal information, but it does compile some interesting statistics on passenger flows and density
: this data is extremely useful to better organize airport operations and reduce congestions, especially in a crowded place as is Gatwick.
Among the app’s features is the possibility to record a path and follow it backwards, for example to find a parked car, especially if it has been in the airport’s parking for a few days and it is almost impossible to find it again.
Abhi Chacko, Head of IT Commercial & Innovation, Gatwick Airport, asserted
that “by providing the infrastructure we’re opening the door for a wide range of tech savvy airport providers, including our airlines and retailers, to launch new real-time services that can help passengers find their way around the airport, avoid missing flights or receive timely offers that might save them money.
ARM23 for Enel: Indoor Navigation for offices
Here at ARM23 we have recently implemented an application which uses this technology to map and navigate the offices of Enel Green Power in Passo Martino, Catania.
This ambitious project determines a very important step in the recognition of Indoor navigation, together with Augmented Reality, as a useful instrument to accelerate and optimize business processes, and to make large environments - as, in this case, offices - more accessible and easily navigable, thanks to the use of digital maps, points of interest and interactive paths.
Our technological solutions can make any building smart, to ameliorate both its general management and the security and logistics of any activity that is carried out inside it: if you’re interested in finding out what we can do for you, contact us