The potential of indoor positioning is huge. Currently, the focal points are technological development and standardisation, after which the focus will shift to applications.
Let’s be honest, the xyz position coordinate alone is not very interesting, rather what can be done with it and how it can be utilised. In fact, it can be used in countless ways. For example, it can help you find tools more easily on a construction site, determine the location of workers in a mine in emergencies, and enable hospitals to have up-to-date information on the location of supplies. In addition, it can be used at different events to guide people along certain routes to avoid crowding.
The growth company Iiwari Tracking Solutions develops high-precision positioning solutions based on UWB radio technology, including networks, hardware and data.
Positioning data will bring enormous added value to any application developed by customers and partners in any industry, says user interface expert Teemu Lätti.
Applications and user interfaces are required for using positioning data, in addition to business logic, which is needed for applying and drawing conclusions from big data.
Where are people moving around? Use a heat map to find out
Iiwari's positioning technology can be used, for example, in retail stores in an application, which includes a tablet with a location tag that is attached to the shopping cart. The received data can be monitored on the system’s dashboard.
The dashboard shows you which parts of the shop people visit the most and how they move around. It is also possible to calculate how many customers have walked down a particular aisle, how long they stayed there and where they went from there.
These types of heat maps provide retailers a clear and visual tool. The displayed data allows retailers to carry out analyses and draw certain conclusions. The data can be used to change the placement of products in a shop or bring new products to the busiest parts of the shop, Lätti says.
UWB technology can be used for accurate positioning anywhere, including industry, factories, or hospitals. Different features can be added to the dashboard according to the needs of each customer.
Increased speed and cost-effectiveness in product picking
Buyers wandering around shops looking for products is a thing of the past. Lätti has already designed an experimental product picking application for Iiwari, which speeds up shopping trips considerably.
With the picking application, consumers can pre-select the products they need while still at home. As they move around, the application will show where, on which shelf, and even at what height each product is located. Customers can easily choose the fastest route to each product as the application will show them their location and that of different products.
Such an application will greatly benefit shops’ own product pickers picking products for online orders. Pickers being able to see the location of products and the most optimal route to get to them saves both time and money, Lätti states.
Applications can illustrate the accuracy and practicality of positioning
The introduction and diffusion of any new technology must pass through many stages. People have already started to see the value of indoor positioning about improving efficiency and safety. The full extent of the possible applications of timely positioning data is still to be seen.
In the near future, a major step will be when consumers themselves will start to use indoor positioning, as the UWB chip becomes more common in mobile phones. Already now, the most advanced Apple and Samsung models carry a UWB chip and the first compatible applications are also being developed. - As applications and users begin to increase, there will be additional pressure to build necessary networks. If one shopping centre does not have an indoor positioning network that facilitates transactions and another one does, it becomes obvious how the first will have a clear competitive advantage compared to the second.
There are different technologies for indoor positioning on offer, but UWB is considered the best due to its accuracy and unambiguous measurement method. Different problems related to radio technology were solved a few years ago, and by now, Iiwari Tracking Solutions has managed to develop and commercialise cost-effective network construction and management solutions.
With the help of applications, we can demonstrate the potential of indoor positioning and thus accelerate the spread of positioning technology. The development of UWB-based indoor positioning will be similar to that of GPS in the past. While at first, it was an expensive and rare technology, by now it has become commonplace and accessible to everyone in thousands of different applications, Lätti states.
Iiwari Tracking Solutions, a pioneer in indoor positioning, has its roots in the Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) and long-term UWB research. Iiwari innovates in cost-effective network solutions and products based on UWB technology aimed at increasingly accurate and reliable indoor positioning.
Software Engineer UI & applications specialist and full stack developer.
Interface virtuoso with a solution to every problem. Teemu is a professional with a long working and entrepreneurial career, who genuinely understands the needs of clients.