People have used magnetic compasses to find their way outdoors for centuries. In a twist, the CSR4, Cagliari, has found a way to use the magnetic sensors in smartphones to locate people themselves—this time, indoors, where GPS signals don’t normally reach. Tracking people in this way could lead to mobile maps that work indoors, and let stores target offers to customers standing in front of a particular product.
Roodin, the Indoor Mobile Pedestrian Navigation System project proposes a design for an Indoor Navigation System based solely on the capabilities of a modern smartphone equipped with accelerometers, compass, camera and an Internet connection.
The goal is to have a system able to work without the installation of costly infrastructures.
The actual prototype uses data from the motion sensors embedded in the smartphone to compute the actual position.
In next releases also existing wifi signal strength will be used as data source with an opportunistic approach: no wifi dedicated hotspots for trilateration will be installed but radio fingerprinting techniques will be used instead.
The user is required to make a checkpoint pointing a 2D bar-code (or a NFC/RFID tag) placed in every point-of-interest. When the user starts to walk, the application draws step by step a walk line over the downloaded map of the building floor.
More informations available on the CSR4 portal.