Indoor positioning has been a hot topic in mobile phone development for a long time. Now, major players like Apple and Samsung have a UWB chip that enables indoor positioning on the latest models. The small chip is going to revolutionize what we use our cell phones for, and new apps will make life easier, save time, and increase efficiency in ways we still have only a pale idea.
The biggest gamblers in the mobile market have awakened to the new opportunities brought by indoor positioning. The race to adopt new technology and develop applications is in full speed.
Nowadays, mobile phone GPS and map applications act as a good navigator outdoors, but indoor navigation is not possible. Bluetooth for mobile phones is only capable of approximate positioning in very open areas. That is why phones are now integrating Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology based on radio signals. Its use enables efficient, accurate and secure indoor positioning, all in one package.
The Finnish growth company Iiwari Tracking Solutions uses UWB technology and with its patented solutions is able to locate a stationary object with an accuracy of less than 10 cm and a moving object or a person with an accuracy of less than 50 cm. Iiwari locates both cell phones and individual tracking tags in real time.
The world is changing spatial data one by one
What is the joy of indoor positioning then for the mobile phone user and what new business opportunities does it open up for entrepreneurs?
Thanks to accurate positioning, for example, the customer can easily find the products they are looking for in the store and the colleague’s location in a large office hotel can be determined in seconds. Creating a more pleasant customer experience at events is successful when up-to-date information about people’s locations is obtained. The spread of pandemics can be monitored more closely. Dealing in shopping malls, exhibition halls, hotels and other large buildings is made easier when the mobile phone directs you to your destination.
The UWB chip integrated in the mobile phone multiplies the possibilities of using indoor positioning, because a separate tag is no longer needed for positioning, but the tracking chip is already included in your own mobile phone.
The mass market lowers prices and promotes application development
Currently, the use of UWB in phones is still in its infancy. At Apple, UWB is used to facilitate and speed up data sharing.
The object of development is, for example, a keyless car, in which case the distance between the mobile phone and the car can be accurately measured with UWB and thus the car’s locking can be securely controlled with the mobile phone. Access control also offers plenty of application possibilities.
As the UWB chip, which enables indoor positioning, becomes more common in mobile phones, the number of users will multiply and, according to economic laws, the price of a single chip will also become cheaper. Standardization facilitates compatibility, which promotes application development. Only the sky is the limit for various new applications.
A separate follow-up tag is also still needed
In addition to the indoor positioning integrated in a mobile phone, separate tracking tags are needed, as for data protection reasons required by the GDPR, in many industries, the tracking tag must have its own separate element. Similarly, in hospitals, construction sites and shops, for example, separate tags are needed to affix objects. Iiwar’s service solution includes a small tracking tag that is easily shaped to the customer’s needs and sends information about its location once a second.
First, networks are built
Indoor positioning is being developed globally at a rapid pace. And no wonder, because with its various applications, indoor positioning can increase efficiency, optimize material flows and increase human safety. Accurate positioning networks are being built and are becoming more widespread.
The Finnish Iiwari is at the forefront of indoor positioning in many different fields. Iiwari designs, builds and operates the network solutions required for UWB technology and performs high-precision positioning with a tracking tag and, in the near future, also with a mobile phone.
Stay tuned: Iiwari and its partners are ready to revolutionize our understanding of the possibilities of positioning.