Thursday, April 30, 2009

South Korea ETRI testing indoor LBS services too

Even in complex indoor places such as large shopping malls, airports, and underground arcades, users seem to be able to easily find their destinations by using portable devices such as mobile phones that now have more precise location search technology.

The state-funded Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced that it has developed "Indoor location search technology" using a wireless network infrastructure such as wireless LAN, including testing it by establishing a test bed at COEX, Korea's foremost mall.


This technology can locate a spot within 3 meters of the destination through the degree of strength of W-LAN signals to the device. When a signal is received, the device sends it to a server that calculates the location and returns a map to the user's device showing the location, ETRI said. When users seek a specific store in a complex mall, the technology sends the correct route, showing the current location and the destination.

This accurate indoor location-based service can be used not only to get information about a location to make life more convenient, but also to help find a person or place in an emergency situation, ETRI said.

While the global LBS market is expected to grow more than 200 percent annually, location-based service, one of the killer applications of wireless Internet service, is expected to experience explosive growth in conjunction with the emergence of more accurate technology and diverse value-added service, ETRI said.

Using Wi-Fi signals, ETRI’s technology was tested at the COEX Mall, Seoul’s largest shopping center. It can provide accurate indoor localization via a wireless device (such as a cell phone), allowing users to easily find specific locations and places when indoor. This would obviously be of great help if you’re in a huge shopping mall like the COEX.