Smartphone app brings 'GPS' style navigation aid for large buildings
06 February 2013
Normal GPS systems are of little assistance when you are indoors. Now, a new smartphone app shows you the internal layout and helps you to find your way around large buildings.
The CampusGuide app pinpoints positions inside a building, displaying a map with the room the user is in and the floor the room is on (photo: Thomas Keilman)
The GPS signals used for outdoor navigation are not adequate for indoor use. Norwegian company, Wireless Trondheim has opted instead to develop a solution based on existing wireless networks. The application can be run on smartphones, tablets and PCs.
The technique, already in use at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (sixty buildings, comprising 13,000 rooms, occupying 350,000 square metres of space), can be further developed and adapted for any type of large building or building cluster.
The CampusGuide app pinpoints positions inside a building, displaying a map with the room the user is in and the floor the room is on. The app makes it easy to find any type of room or facility that has been indexed – for example, the nearest WC or available meeting room. It is also easy for users to share their positions with others logged into the service – a feature that can be very valuable when coordinating meetings.
“The current solution is only the beginning,” says Thomas Jelle, managing director of Wireless Trondheim. “We are now working on expanding the technology’s area of application to increase the efficiency of operating and using large buildings.
“A service such as this has to look good and be user-friendly,” says Mr Jelle. “We have put considerable effort into making the app as practical and intuitive as possible. For example, it has very few menus, which prevents the user from getting lost in the interface.”