Finding out where you are located when inside a mall or in a sports arena using a smartphone is difficult today because of bad GPS coverage and to deal with the issue, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm have formed an In-Location Alliance, to improve the indoor positioning, which is the next façade of mobile services.
Apart from improving the indoor positioning in such locations, the In-Location Alliance will also prioritise low power consumption, making the technology both easy to implement and use.
The core technologies would feature Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi. These technologies are already used in mobile devices and are therefore a good starting point for the Alliance’s efforts. Pilots will be deployed starting in 2012, while integration in smartphones and other devices and the first commercial consumer applications will happen next year.
Accurate indoor positioning will open opportunities for new services. For consumers this could include receiving directions to the right products and promotions in nearby shops or using real-time navigation inside a building to help find a friend, the companies said in a statement.
The In-location Alliance members include Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, RapidBlue Solutions, Seolane Innovation, TamperSeal, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.
Surprisingly, important companies such as Google and Apple are missing from the list. It may be noted that earlier this year, Google had launched Maps Floor Plan Marker for Android, which is still in beta and aims to show users their location more accurately within indoor venues.