One of the newer indoor positioning and navigation players announced two successful trial this week. Partnering with local telecoms, the company tested its solution in Paris-Gâre de Lyon in France and at the University Station in Seoul, South Korea. Reports confirm "users successfully navigated through two busy train stations that serve thousands of commuters on a daily basis."
Here's how it works:
Movea’s indoor navigation systems uses signals from an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, pressure sensor, Wi-Fi, GPS, and matching against known maps. The first thing Movea’s mobile app does is ask you for your height. From that, it can estimate your step length. When you move, the accelerometer in your phone registers the step, and the app then figures out that you’ve moved. The magnetometer, used for a compass, determines which way you are facing.
Movea takes into account the difference in step length when you are moving faster or slower. Over time, it figures out your trajectory and then uses it for your location.
One thing that improves accuracy is “map matching,” or using blueprints for buildings. It uses those to match your location. If you’re walking down a hallway, it will correct the location if you suddenly seem to be walking through room walls, based on faulty step calculations or faulty sensor signals. The system is context aware. If you are in an elevator, it knows that. If it senses a change in the pressure, it will figure out that you are going up the elevator. The pressure change was measured by a pressure sensor, which is present in some Samsung devices.
One big challenge that we've noted before: this sort of solution only works if there are detaled maps available.