Researchers devise a way to provide accurate indoor positioning using Earth's very own magnetic field.

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Imagine you are walking inside a mall and your smartphone is not only able to discern the shape and area of the mall, it is also able to tell where exactly are you inside the mall. Yes, it’s about accurate indoor positioning. And researchers in University of Oulu in Finland have been able to come up with an excellent tool which is being called ‘Indoor Atlas’ which is basically an indoor navigation system (IPS).


The research is based on the fact that every square inch of Earth emits its own unique magnetic field. This field is further affected and modulated by different man-made steel and concrete structures.

All you need is a map of these magnetic fields and a magnetometer. The maps can be loaded into an app on a smartphone. For magnetometer or a compass, you will simply need sensors in your smartphone. And voila, you will be able to see your exact position when inside a building right on your smartphone.

The best thing is that there already are sensors in nearly all smartphones simply to know the direction of the user. The very same sensors are sensitive enough to be used in collaboration with ‘Indoor Atlas’ to find out your indoor location. All you need to do is get the Indus Atlas apps first to create a map of the environs of a building and then see where are you on that map in real-time.

There is also an API which is being offered to developers who may use this tool in their apps.  Naturally, a lot of apps will be able to utilize this excellent and useful tool. Moreover, since this app doesn’t really require you to be hooked up to a WiFi or Bluetooth venue, this makes it a lot more handy and feasible. Watch the video below to get a better idea of how Indoor Atlas works.

Source: Indoor Atlas

Courtesy: Extreme Tech

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  On July 10, 2012(2 years, 3 months ago.)

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