Stay assured with newly introduced mobile indoor GPS navigation apps you are not certain to get lost in a mall again. These technologies are specially designed to help you navigate inside places traditional GPS-based mapping can’t.
With a smartphone in hand, it was pretty easy for users to find their way to their destination using outdoor GPS navigation mobile apps, even when they were in an unfamiliar city. However, it is possible to get lost indoors, with GPS satellite signals not being accurately traceable in case of navigation apps.
So how often did you have a hard time locating that new café inside a crowded shopping center, where you were supposed to hang-out with your friends? Or how often did you keep wandering here and there while looking for the meeting room of some office you just visited. Won’t it be convenient to have an app that works similarly to the ones used outdoors? With such an app installed in your app, you would be good to go as it is going to be extremely easy to find a way to your destination, even in an unfamiliar location, place or city.
Indoor Positioning System
Well, the easiest way to explain Indoor Position System (IPS) is that it works like a GPS for indoor settings.
This is is useful in locating people or objects inside buildings, usually via a mobile device, which can be a smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile, this technology is way newer and way advanced than GPS, as services leveraging IPS are rapidly gaining tractions in locations like hospitals, airports, shopping malls and other indoor locations where navigation and other location-based services (LBS) may prove to be indispensable.
How are these apps useful to businesses?
Well, this technology is greatly helpful for businesses as they can put this service to good use. Indoor positioning & navigation apps can be used by them to map out large buildings, such as malls, railways, airports, for the visitors.
So offices, malls, hospitals, airports, warehouses, university campuses, all of these building cover a lot of areas, and thus it becomes challenging for visitors to find their way quickly.
However, now this problem can be solved with Indoor Positioning & Navigation apps. The idea behind this technology is simple: Inside large buildings – where GPS doesn’t work – the app will help smartphone users in locating and reaching certain destinations.
These navigation platforms are able to benefit both visitors and facility owners, and they can be quickly adjusted based on each facility’s requirements.
In this write-up, a lot will be discussed about this technology, like how these apps work, as well as what all it needs to create such an app and its nuances.
So what information do these apps show?
Showing their current positions to the visitors on the map, the indoor navigation app creates the shortest route to a destination. Moreover, it allows users to receive messages from system administrators.
Augmented Reality technology and beacons are used by the apps to create comprehensive indoor maps. These navigation maps majorly have three purposes, Positioning, Navigation & Push Notifications.
- Positioning: It locates a place inside a building, for instance, shopping center.
- Navigation: It creates the shortest route possible to the preferred destination, such as from car parking to a shoe brand store.
- Push Notifications: It sends the necessary messages to a user’s smartphone.
Why do the visitors like Indoor Navigation Apps?
The app enables the visitors to reach their chosen destination, simply by using their smartphones, which is just great, isn’t it?
This includes, however, is limited to:
- Get an online mapping of a building
- Search for destinations
- Create & View routes
- Get voice directions to preferred destination and back
Why do Facility Owners & Businesses like Indoor Navigation Apps?
These apps do simplify a lot of things for these folks and make it possible for them to:
- Collect data on users’ favorite places, number of visitors, time spent, etc.
- Send notifications
- Link app to product and trigger actions, like send a notification to the user about the location of the product which is added to their wishlist, once they reach the physical store.
How do Indoor Navigation Apps work?
Well, what the IPS technology does is that it leverages internal sensors in your smartphone in order to calculate the indoor position of the device using the complex mathematical algorithm. It then combines the incoming data from these sensors in an astute manner, to calculate a very accurate position, leaving scope for little to no latency. This way it results in a smooth user experience.
To offer the best user experience – which is both fast and accurate – Indoor Positioning technology relies on three different elements, such as underlying dynamic positioning system platform, beacons broadcasting signals that are picked up by smartphone and then served to the positioning system.
This technology combines data from various sources in order to calculate the position of a user.
The input data comprises:
- Information from smartphone sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope)
- Signals from a transmitter (Wi-Fi access points, beacons)
- Facility maps (information about walls, obstacles, elevators, and staircases is essential)
So this way an Indoor Navigation System requires:
- A facility (building) map
- A smartphone with a dedicated app
- Fingerprinting and BLE Beacons (it guides a user through the building)
- Back-end servers – indoor navigation calculation is an intensive process
What Hardware is required by Indoor Navigation Apps?
Yes, even an indoor navigation system requires hardware, and these are categorized into three main types and in order to ensure accuracy, these approaches should be mixed with another.
Wi-Fi Access Points
These access points serve as signal transmitters. However, they don’t calculate user position, instead, your smartphone does that and this ends up eating the battery life.
These BLE Beacons have a long battery life and a 2-to-3 meter range accuracy. These signals are supported by both Android and iOS devices.
Besides, BLE beacons based navigation solution calculates the route on the server and thus it eliminates the extra load on a user device. Though for that a user is required to be within the range of at least three BLE beacons. This method is termed as a triangulation method.
The requirement for the number of beacons depends on the number of obstacles, i.e. walls. With Indoor Beacon Calculator, the app can determine how many beacons will be needed.
This feature uses a smartphone’s built-in compass as well as a geomagnetic map of the venue. Meanwhile, the magnetic field needs to be stable. With every new source of electromagnetic emission, the product owner will need to update a geomagnetic map.
What Features Does an Indoor Navigation App comprise of?
Due to the complex functioning, the app will require a lot of features, however, here the basic features are discussed here:
- Positioning: It determines a user’s location
- Mapping: It shows all the locations & possible routes
- Routing: It creates the best route and guides the visitor to the point of destination
- Analytics: It shows the number of visitors and user behavior inside the building
- Administrative capability: Enable building managers maintain beacons, set up promotional campaigns, and do a lot more
- Login via a Facebook account
- 3D map visualization
- Voice guidance
- Custom design
How Can Indoor Navigation App with wayfinding beacons prove to be useful?
Now you know that indoor GPS can be used for navigation. Despite which type of facility it is, be it an airport, museum, factory, university, shopping mall, warehouse, office building, or corporate campus, your visitors, and employee can greatly benefit from this kind of apps as they will be able to easily find their way around.
But it is not the only thing that indoor navigation app is useful for. In fact, there are many other uses of Indoor Navigation as well, which comprise of:
- Location Sharing: It can be used by both employees and visitors to find one another and can designate a meeting spot.
- Advertising: The wayfinding beacons are able to detect a customer nearby, so you can call their attention to your services or products in the area by sending a message or alert to their mobile device.
- Location-Based Coupons: Businesses can send a coupon or special offer alert to the visitor’s mobile device based on their location. Like, if a person is standing next to the apparel section, then they can be sent a coupon for 25% off on all apparels. This is a significant way to personalize your customers’ shopping experience.
- In-App Search: If an employee or visitor is searching for a particular place or product, they are looking for it in the indoor navigation app and it will show them detailed direction to that spot.
- Inventory & Asset Tracking: It is easy to keep track of machinery, merchandise, vehicles and other assets with the use of indoor navigation app.
Sectors that can benefit from Indoor Navigation Apps are:
- Retail Sectors
- Shopping Mall Navigation apps
- Grocery Shopping
How much cost required to develop an Indoor Navigation App?
Well, an app with basic features cost somewhere between $10,000 to 50,000, while optional features range from $20,000 to $50,000.
As it comes to hardware, the average price for a three-piece kit of BLE Beacons is $20 to $60 each, while the price for geofencing varies as per your request.
When you have got an Indoor Navigation app developed, you better expect to get it updated routinely. Few services that you might need to pay for after development are:
- Third-Party Services:
You will be required to pay for a subscription to a location engine as well as PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service solutions, like Map storage, so to reduce the maintenance cost.
A server needs to be created by the product owners where all mapping information is stored. This will save time when a beacon’s battery dies and requires replacement. Then another server consists of information on marketing campaigns and BLE beacons useful to send push notifications.
- Device Updates/Upgrades
Indoor navigation apps require updating each time beacons or smartphones are being updated. This way the app doesn’t experience glitches.
Indoor Positioning Apps Providing Guidance & Data
This app is greatly helpful to visitors in finding their way inside large facilities, whereas, for businesses, the app offers analytics tools crucial to study user behavior.
Different technologies can be used by an indoor navigation system on the basis of which technology best suits that provided a type of facility. It seamlessly switches from one technology to another, as and when needed.
By now you must be clear that this technology is immensely great in helping people finding their way inside large complexes, like malls and airports, and besides that, it has many other benefits as well. So, if you are impressed with the Indoor Navigation system and want to get one for your business or organization or building, then get in touch with an experienced and skilled app development company to help you with the process.