Saturday, March 10, 2012

SXSW 2012 - The Building Blocks for Indoor Navigation

The prevalence of location-based services has been rising over the past few years, but they have yet to venture into the place where people spend 80% of their lives: inside buildings. Startups and large corporations alike are racing to build the infrastructure to make indoor LBS possible. Players in indoor mapping and indoor positioning technologies including Point Inside, Micello, Google, Qubulus, BuildingLayer discussed the future of indoor navigation.

EchoEcho unveiled a new version at SXSW that finds your friends indoors, where GPS doesn't work. Imagine being at the Austin Convention Center with 10,000 people. You know your friends are in the building somewhere but you can't find them. EchoEcho plots your friends on an indoor floor plan map, in real time, so you can find them with pinpoint accuracy, within 2 meters. A Stanford startup, WifiSlam provides the indoor location maps to EchoEcho. Both companies have been building this functionality in stealth mode. This weekend at SXSW in Austin people will be able to use it for the first time.