Directions Magazine (DM): Please explain how the magnetic field signature of a building can be captured by your app in only one pass through a building.
Janne Haverinen (JH): The IndoorAtlas mobile app leverages the compass with which every smartphone comes equipped to detect the magnetic field structure found within buildings. All the areas where the navigation will be used need to be recorded with the app. What’s great is that a floor plan can be recorded with only one walk-through.
DM: How is the signature stored by the app?
JH: The data is first saved locally by the app. The user can then upload the data to IndoorAtlas' cloud service where the magnetic field map is then generated.
DM: We would expect much interference with magnetic fields. How is noise mitigated?
JH: The more magnetic field anomalies the environment has, the better. IndoorAtlas' solution specifically utilizes the static magnetic field interference for precise indoor location.
DM: Is it a requirement that you must first have an accurate digital floor plan of the building to use as a base map for the app to work effectively? If not, how is the floor plan data acquired?
JH: The floor plan is only needed as a visual reference for the user in order to help show the user where the data needs to be collected. The floor plan often comes from the premise’s owner or from an indoor venue map provider.
DM: How is the signature georeferenced to a floor plan of a building?
JH: The floor plan is aligned with the geocoordinates by using the IndoorAtlas' Floor Plans tool.
DM: What’s the basic business model for your company and how do you plan to attract corporate users (like retailers, mall developers, etc.) to embrace the technology?
JH: The basic business model is subscription-based with monthly $99 fee / venue for using the indoor navigation. The corporate deals are always negotiated separately. We are implementing pilots with corporate users to show the value IndoorAtlas can bring to their business.
DM: Are you intending to “white label” the app or to sell directly to app users? If to app users, what’s the revenue model?
JH: IndoorAtlas is a platform provider and we currently only have developer tool apps, which are free. We are considering different options to have IndoorAtlas branded apps.
DM: What else can you tell us about your plans for the technology or app deployment?
JH: The core technology is a 100% infrastructure-free solution (a pure software solution). We are planning to provide different APIs to support various indoor-related services. Crowdsourcing the collection of magnetic field maps is an interesting future prospect. We are also closely working with various industrial players to optimize the performance of the technology.