Your smartphone helps you smoothly navigate highways and streets of an unfamiliar city. But once you enter a mega mall, its global positioning system (GPS) goes blind. But now researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute in collaboration with the Bosch Corporation and others have devised a navigation system for interiors. It cleverly combines sensors, enabling the device to track the movements and position of its user with precise detail.
“Wouldn’t it be helpful?” Harald von Rosenberg of Fraunhofer thought, “If at such moments a smartphone could quickly shift to an interior space navigator, and point the way through the rows of shops and stairwells.”
Well, that is absolutely possible. Rosenberg, project manager for motion control systems, Fraunhofer Institute, shows this through the MST-Smartsense cooperation project from the German federal ministry for education and research (BMBF), according to a Fraunhofer statement.
Similar to conventional pedometers, the module registers how fast and how far a person is walking. That said, it is much more precise and intelligent than the customary devices found on the market, because it even registers the direction in which the user is walking.
Naturally, the interior space navigator only functions if it knows the building. For this purpose, soon smartphones will automatically download 3D building plans from the Internet. These are coupled with the sensor module to display a user’s current position on the smartphone.
Researchers will deliver a live demonstration of the new interior-space navigation system at the Sensor+Test trade fair, in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 22-24.