[Cyborg] indoor positioning system using magnetometer

Tomm tomm.fire at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 14:20:56 PDT 2012


It looks to me like their "secret sauce" is calibrating step size, then 
counting steps to determine distance traveled.  I think the whole 
magnetic field thing is just to determine direction of travel on the 
map, ie, orientating the map relative local north.  Which of course will 
be incorrect if you walk by a fridge compressor that wasn't on the last 
time you walked by...

As far as rough vs. fine location, maybe they have an NFC touchpoint 
when entering the building to establish "you are here"?  It's a solution 
only a geek could love.

I see the future: someone asks their phone, "where are the canned 
tomatoes?", and their phone guides them to aisle where the tomatoes were 
until last week, when the shelves were reorganized and no one bothered 
to update the app.  And the only reason the user asked is that they know 
where the tomatoes used to be, and they want to know where they are _now_!

     Tomm

On 7/10/12 7:33 AM, Eric Boyd wrote:
> http://www.extremetech.com/computing/132484-indoor-navigation-on-your-smartphone-using-the-earths-magnetic-field-just-like-a-homing-pigeon
>
> It's hard for me to believe that the magnetic field at each location
> would be globally unique - at least at that resolution.  Seems more
> likely that you have to give the app a rough location (e.g. this
> building, or here's a nearby wifi/cell tower location...) and from there
> it can pin-point you.
>
> Also, anyone else notice the curious total fixity of the cell phone
> angle and location with respect to the camera & floor?  They must have
> had some kind of fancy rig to hold them that rigidly.  Maybe some smoke
> & mirrors?  It also makes me wonder how well the indoor positioning app
> works if the phone tilts, or shakes...
>
> Still, really cool technology.  I imagine it would be super useful for
> things like google glass :-)
>
> Eric
>
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