NEWS24 August 2012

Companies to collaborate on indoor positioning technologies

Data analytics Europe

FINLAND— A group of 22 companies have formed an alliance aimed at developing more accurate technologies for working out where people are within indoor locations.


Technologies for pinpointing where people are when they are outdoors are fairly well-known and established, yet people only spend around 10% of their time outdoors, according to Nokia, one of the founders of the In-Location Alliance.

“Indoor measurement today is fragmented in the approaches companies take to measure location inside of buildings,” says David Shim, founder and CEO of mobile location analytics firm Placed. “If this alliance can drive standards in indoor measurement, it is a win for all parties. The big question will be, can this alliance move quickly enough to establish and implement those standards, or will another entity come into the market, drive adoption and establish the standard?”

More accurate indoor positioning technology would be a boon not only to location analytics firms like Placed but to survey companies too, who are beginning to take advantage of the location-based survey opportunities afforded by mobile devices.

Alongside Nokia, founder members of the In-Location Alliance include shopper and visitor analytics firm RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics and Sony Mobile Communications.

RapidBlue uses Bluetooth MAC addresses to identify and track an individual’s mobile phone as it moves about a retail environment. Chief operating officer Sampo Parkkinen said being part of the alliance “provides us with great opportunities to further improve our offering as well as create combined offerings”.

The alliance says members will be encouraged to carry out their own pilots and present data to other members. “The primary solutions will be based on enhanced Bluetooth® 4.0 low-energy technology and wi-fi standards using relevant existing or coming features of those technologies,” according to a statement. “These technologies are commonly used in mobile handsets and are thus a natural starting point for the alliance’s efforts.”