by Vishal Singhal, Kelton Tech Solutions, September 1, 2014
Smartphone penetration has risen to double-digit percentage of Indian mobile population and our life completely revolves around it. Harnessing this trend has never been more important for organizations seeking to capture and retain customers.
The trend of using location based concepts is not new but has evolved over a long period. A brief knowledge of how it all started will help readers in understanding how from ages, we have been using these and how they have technologically advanced over time so much that we predominantly depend on it now.
We have been using location technology since many thousands of years before Christ. From American Indians to Chinese, smoke signals were used to communicate messages and locate homes.
For centuries from early 3200BC, Celestial Navigation guided generations of people until the middle of 18th century when Chronometer was invented, and it helped sailors in determining the longitudes.
From 1000 BC onwards, Homing Pigeons came in and were used for a long time for navigation and courier services.
The Magnetic Compass came in between 1100 and 1200 AD and allowed navigators to determine where they are heading.
In early 1900s came the Radio Triangulation, which till today is used in many spheres. It worked by measurement of the strengths of radio signals, ships, aircrafts and military ground troops began to be able to estimate their coordinates from very long distances.
Satellite GPS was launched in early 1960s. A group of around 30 satellites orbiting the earth were used to triangulate the position of the receiver. Receiver sizes have been shrinking ever since 60s when GPS (Global Positioning Systems) were first tested.
Automotive GPS Navigation came in 1990s and now became a necessity in driving, commonly including maps and turn by turn directions. It has gained huge traction among consumers and is still installed in many automotive.
GPS-enabled smartphones came in 2000s.Though cell phones started carrying GPS in mid ‘00s, the debut of Apple’s iPhone brought the most notable changes to the industry, allowing a host of third-party applications to start developing programs to take advantage of the built-in satellite positioning hardware.
Also, now, Proximity and Geo-based marketing engagement allows organizations to provide its consumers the right information at the right time and the right place. This allows organizations to drive more revenue, improve customer experience, and develop deeper insights into visitors.
Location-Based Services (LBS) have essentially targeted outdoor spaces. Now accurate indoor localization technologies are also gaining traction. Most market analysts are agreeing that market of LBS (both indoor and outdoor) is set to grow in the next four years to a multi-billion dollar market, and that is what we are experts at doing at Kellton Tech.
Future of LBS in Mobility
iBeacons are one way to overcome the limitations of standard cellphone location services like GPS. They tend to be more accurate and can be deployed indoors. Besides, there are several companies that have created Wi-Fi-based location systems that can function indoors which is referred to as indoor positioning services.
Google’s Project Tango, announced earlier this year, is another technology that can be used in mapping spaces, particularly indoor spaces, where traditional location services flounder. As of now, this project is in the early stages but it could revolutionize indoor positioning and navigation in the coming years. It is worth noting that NASA will be testing it on the International Space Station later this year.
Apple’s iBeacons have gotten much press in last few months since Apple announced that it had outfitted all of its U.S. retail stores with the new technology. Besides Apple, other major retailers, shopping malls, sports stadiums, museums, convention centers, theme parks, restaurants and bars, and special events like the Consumer Electronics Show, Macworld/ iWorld, and SXSW have all featured iBeacon technology in interesting ways. The technology is also supported on Android phones running Jelly Bean or KitKat.
Apart from delivering ads and special offers, providing context to safeguarding, the technology is a next-generation location and information service.
The big advantage to iBeacons as a location service is that they are extremely inexpensive, and the setup is pretty quick and easy. Some examples of where iBeacons are being deployed are as given below:
Beacons in Hospitals: iBeacon will help the hospital minimize the usage of paper-based reports. When the doctor will reach the patient bed, iBeacon, attached to the bed, will recognize the doctor and cause the application on doctor’s phone to show-up all the reports and prescriptions for the patient. Doctor can edit the info right on his phone, and the information will sync across the devices with a central server.
iBeacons in Retail: “Get 7 percent discount on the camera in front of you!” Yes, this is possible with iBeacon. Imagine yourself walking into the camera department in your local department store. An iBeacon sensor can detect your proximity with a product that you are looking at and can offer you a coupon or discount voucher straight to your phone. Needless to say that retailers around the world are very excited about iBeacon, and many have started to implement it already (e.g. American Eagle and Macy’s).
iBeacons at Car Dealerships: It is imperative for car dealers to get more people into their dealerships. Providing a great experience to their visitors is thus an absolute must! iBeacon can get detailed information on the phone from the car.
iBeacons in large event venues like SXSW: Large event venues can place iBeacons around their venue and venue app or event app can show users exactly where they are inside the venue and provide routing on a tradeshow to any given exhibitor. Combining this technology with user profiling in apps opens up even more possibilities. A visitor on a tradeshow, with an interest in a certain product, can be sent a relevant offer straight to his phone when walking by a booth
There is a range of technologies that can enable indoor positioning; the most common are based on Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi-based indoor positioning systems triangulates location-based on the strength and proximity of Wi-Fi access points within a structure.
Configuring an indoor positioning system requires a few different steps and processes
- Accurate maps or floor plans for the space
- Ubiquitous Wi-Fi with enough access points at key positions
- Footprint of the entire space recorded from a device or software
- Compiled data to create a digital map of the space, complete with the proximity footprint
With all that data and services, a developer can incorporate indoor positioning and navigation into mobile apps.
An indoor positioning system would allow visitors at the hospital to get-off at the appropriate floor and then use the app to get precise directions to the room of a patient. Although Wi-Fi triangulation is the most common choice for indoor positioning systems, any technology that can triangulate position based on proximity to electronic signals can theoretically be used instead. That includes Bluetooth LE signals generated by iBeacons. Using iBeacons or another technology offers an advantage over using Wi-Fi — the beacons are separate from the network infrastructure, which means a reduction in maintenance issues associated with reconfiguring Wi-Fi access points.
Other potential technologies that have been explored include LEDs, magnetic fields, RFID, and NFC. Together these technologies will offer unprecedented value whether you are shopping, visiting someone in a hospital, finding your way through a large office complex, and in tons of other ways not yet imagined.
Location-based services (LBS) are services offered through a mobile phone and take into account the device’s geographical location. LBS typically provide information or entertainment. Because LBS are largely dependent on the mobile user’s location, the primary objective of the service provider’s system is to determine where the user is. There are many technologies to achieve this.
Some of the most common LBS applications include local news, directions, points of interest, directory assistance, fleet management, emergency, asset tracking, location-sensitive building, and local advertisement.
Read more at: http://www.informationweek.in/informationweek/perspective/297745/location-services-disrupted-rule-world?utm_source=referrence_article