Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography
Stay in touch with Micello by following our blog as we cover a wide range of cartography and company topics.
Just two weeks ago, we announced that one of the largest national retailers, Sears, has officially released interactive store maps to aid customers in finding the products they are looking for faster than ever before, all powered by Micello. Back in 2012, Micello worked with its first retailer, Walmart, to release over 4,000 in-store Black Friday maps to help shoppers with the holiday season. Now, other retail brands are beginning to take note as integrating beautiful store maps has become a vital step in bridging the gap between brick-and-mortar stores and mobile commerce.
Kmart has become the latest retailer to release their powerful and interactive store maps that give users the ability to scan across multiple departments and find the location they’re looking for almost instantly.
Incorporated into Kmart’s mobile site (m.kmart.com), Kmart is making great strides in giving their shoppers contextualized knowledge of the products around them, while they shop.
By adding Micello’s mobile-ready store maps, Kmart aims to boost customer engagement, and discover new methods for monetization that has since gone uncaptured. Kmart recognized that potentially millions of dollars of untapped revenue is lost in brick-and-mortar stores, mainly due to the fact that customers cannot always find the products they are looking for. By including Micello’s indoor mapping platform, Kmart will seamlessly bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar customers and finally be able to capture some of these lost dollars.
Of course, don’t expect for this feature to be lost overtime. Micello is delivering its services to Kmart via Micello’s enterprise-grade indoor mapping SDK, which has powered other mapping projects for companies such as, TomTom, Walmart, Nokia, Westfield, Zenrin, Bally Technologies, Pitney Bowes and more. As Kmart and Micello continue to improve and build upon their extensive SDK, expect some great new advancements for this in the future.
Since offering an indoor mapping SaaS platform, Micello has become the premier indoor mapping SDK for some of the biggest names across multiple industries. Stadiums, hospitals, conferences, business campuses, property owners and retail have all expressed an interest in indoor location based services. Due to Micello’s flexible SDK, which allows enterprises to retain full control over the application and map, companies like Kmart have found Micello’s technology to be quite easy to integrate into internal tools that are usually already in place without having to lock chain themselves to third party platforms.
“Micello is ecstatic to be working with such a large brand, like Kmart. By integrating into Kmart’s mobile technology, this means that Kmart and Sears shoppers will now be able to find the products they are looking for easier than ever before. As indoor-location technology continues to improve and advance, I have no doubt that this will have a huge impact that will continue to benefit their shoppers for years to come.” noted Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal.
We’re very excited to see what the future holds for our partnership with Kmart. Harnessing the power of Micello’s powerful SDK, we have no doubt that Kmart has just become a serious player in the mobile retail sector.
Every once and a while, we come across a map that suprises us with its extreme attention to detail and overall high quality. The map that was created for Viking Stadion in Norway is definitely one of these maps. Take a closer look at this map and you'll see the minute details that have been captured by the factory to produce one of the most detailed and sophisticated maps that we've ever created.
What makes seat maps so important?
Like indoor maps in general, adding an additional level of detail on the map opens the map up to be able to do a lot more things than simply be just a map of a stadium. This is becease every seat that is mapped inside the stadium becomes an individual object that developers can then record, customize, utilize and manipulate depending on their use case.
To see how this concept works, we just need to to take a step back to see how indoor maps and indoor location are changing the way companies engage with their audiance by connecting the user and developer together via their location indoors. So just as you can easily find your favorite restuarant just around the corner using Google maps, companies will also now be able to effectively localize their advertising by tracking a user's exact location indoors. (Provided they are using an indoor map SDK coupled with an indoor positioning technology) This means that as you walk by the electronics department in a store, the store will know that you're walking past electronics and may send you the latest deals and information on a new TV doorbuster-deal.
So what is the use case for seat maps like Viking Stadion?
We feel though seat maps will be the new frontier in indoor mapping. When someone adds a deeper dimension to a map, such as seats in a sports stadium, new services such as mobile concierge or ticket upgrading becomes possible. Ever wanted to order a hot-dog and have it delivered directly to your seat? Well, now with detailed seat maps this is possible. Or maybe you've wanted to see if that lucky slot machine you love is being played before you walk all the way across the casino floor? No matter what type of chair it is, you can bet that Micello is already working to get it mapped out. We're excited to see the kinds of use cases developers come up with to utilize our seating maps. We'll continue to focu on building some of the most detailed and high quality indoor maps designed for enterprise use.
Make sure to get your favorite stadium mapped out by submitting your source materials at www.micello.com/maprequest
We were excited when we came across an article published in EE Times, which discussed the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) interest in the current state of indoor positioning technology and the evolving indoor location industry with companies who are building the next generation of enhanced-911 technologies. We've always felt that E-911 and emergency response was a natural fit for indoor wayfinding technology, and now we're not alone. A couple weeks ago, we've share our take on how indoor maps is poised to retrofit first responder technologies with real-time mapping data that can track a user's location, safety equipment, temperatures, chemical levels etc., so we were very excited to learn about the FCC's interest in one of our positioning partners.
Before the days of cell phones, 911 operators would receive emergency calls that were mostly placed by a landline or payphone that emergency personnel could pinpoint due to its stationary location. With the advent of cell phones, 911 operators have gotten most of their calls from mobile phones which allow people to remain mobile while at the scene of an accident. While GPS has worked quite well in tracking the location of cellphones on an outdoor map, it is the emergencies that happen inside a building that give rise to this concern. GPS utilizes weak signals from cell towers that can pinpoint a user’s location with around 100m-300m accuracy. ( about one city block) However, indoor positioning coupled with a powerful indoor map SDK, allows first responders to pinpoint a user’s horizontal (50m) and vertical (3m) location if a person is indoors. This valuable information becomes vital when responders have to face the difficulty of a multi-level building with various exits, starewells and rooms. Bluetooth beacons have begun to sprout up as a leading option for the indoor positioning dilemma, but is this technology truly ready to support emergency response?
To answer this question, the FCC has tasked CSRIC with the evaluation process to learn about three possible companies who are hoping to solve this issue. Qualcomm, Polaris and NextNav are the companies who are currently being evaluated by the FCC, as two of them already provide a network management operation on a nationwide scale, and can certify beacon locations and guarantee a precise user location. The CSRIC test consisted of calls being placed from various location, including calls placed from urban/rural areas and buildings made with unusual materials. The FCC was looking for these companies to provide them with variables which included a caller’s X,Y and Z coordinate. While only NextNav was able to provide a caller’s Z coordinate, Qualcomm and Polaris felt as though Z coordinate data would not prove useful unless a 3D structure of the building was provided.
After rigorous testing, here is the evaluation results:
So what do these results mean? If you asked, Srivatsan Raghavan, a blogger from EE Times, it appears as though NextNav has a slight advantage in pinpointing a user’s location while located in dense urban environments. Perhaps this is due to their optimal positioning of terrestrial towers to help the triangulation process, rather than just relying on towers that were placed to maximize cell-traffic. However, Raghavan warns that it is still too early to tell how the race will end. Scalability is a whole other issue that will need to be tackled before any indoor positioning is adopted. Despite these results, speculation of a fourth solution is becoming rumored, with large companies, like Boeing, being one possibility. No matter how the race ends, there is no doubt that the industry is definitely heating up while Raghavan remains optimistic.
In addition to partnering with NextNav, we’ll continue on our goal of creating a detailed map of every interesting building on the planet. And don’t forget, every great indoor positioning service needs a great indoor map SDK to showcase the data. We’re proud to offer one of the largest and sophisticated indoor mapping platforms with the enterprise in mind.
Make sure to check out the full article:
Well its official. America’s Worst Airports have been crowned by popular technology blog, Gizmodo on Tuesday. Eight airports, spanning from Los Angeles to Newark have received this dishonorable award based on an online survey that Gizmodo conducted to see which airports and terminals, travelers hate most. With nearly 600 comments pouring in, in which travelers griped about long TSA lines at Dulles, missing phone charging stations in Philly, $5 dollar water bottles at LAX, and even a mysterious odor that has seemed to plague Newark Liberty Airport, flying can sometimes feel like a chore, especially this time of year.
But there is hope for you weary travelers!
We have taken it upon ourselves to help your travel plans this year and put some of airport travelers worst problems to rest with our beautiful and interactive terminal maps. Micello has worked extensively to create indoor maps that are lightweight, interactive and useful for travelers who need to get to where their going and fast. For those of you who will be stuck sitting in some terminal for hours this holiday season, our maps are great to explore the terminal and find great food, shops, bathrooms, and even charging stations for those long layovers. Tap any of the airport maps below to take the mobile terminal maps with you this holiday season!
“I almost forgot about that little slice of hell. You're packed into your gate like sardines. I have terrible memories of literally pushing my way through the crowd to reach the men's restroom at which there was a line because there were only three stalls. -JuanDimensional”
There you have it; Gizmodo’s official list of the worst airports in America. We’re all about finding news ways to make traveling just a little bit easier with interactive terminal maps. Maybe now, these airports won’t seem that bad since users can instantly connect themselves to all the amenities these airports truly have to offer. So the next time you feel like, “I'd rather wake up in a bathtub full of ice than go to LGA's B terminal. - d4st” head over to Micello.com/places and find your favorite airport map.
We also have a full indoor mapping platform seeking to help developers build out the next generation of indoor mapping application. From airports to shopping malls and retail stores, Micello is leading the way in indoor mapping technology designed for the enterprise space. We’d love to chat with you to discuss some of the ways indoor mapping is going to change the way we make decisions indoors.
Just in time for the busiest shopping season of the year, Sears has partnered with Micello, the leading provider in indoor maps, to offer detailed in-store maps on its mobile site.
Integrated into Sear’s complete mobile solution, shoppers will be able to effortlessly shop by departments, find hot deals and coupons, cross-check local ad, share and purchase gift cards, order products (layaway also available) , and finally navigate their way across large multi-level Sears department stores.
Upon opening up m.sears.com, shoppers will can access the map of their neighborhood Sears store, by navigating to the Store Finder option in the menu bar.
Sears has made great strides in revamping their mobile presence and now, with the addition of a powerful indoor mapping SDK that gives them the ability to update maps with product search, indoor location based advertising, and displaying various objects on top of the maps, Sears is poised to offer a proactive mobile solution that users can use without having to download any native applications onto their phones.
With the addition of mobile-ready store maps, Sears hopes to boost consumer engagement, and find new methods for monetization that has since gone uncaptured. Millions of dollars of untapped revenue is lost in brick-and-mortar stores, largely due to the fact that customers cannot always find the products they are looking for. With the inclusion of Micello’s indoor mapping platform, Sears will seamlessly bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Expect some awesome new upgrades to Sear’s store maps over the coming years as Micello is also constantly improving and building upon their extensive SDK. Micello is delivering its services to Sears via Micello’s enterprise-grade indoor mapping SDK, which has powered other large mapping projects for companies such as, TomTom, Nokia, Walmart, Westfield, Zenrin, Bally Technologies, Pitney Bowes and more.
Since offering an indoor mapping SaaS platform, Micello has become the premier indoor mapping SDK for some of the biggest names across multiple industries. Stadiums, hospitals, conferences, business campuses, property owners and retail have all expressed an interest in indoor location based services. Due to Micello’s flexible SDK, which allows enterprises to retain full control over the application and map, companies like Sears have found Micello’s technology to be quite easy to integrate into internal tools that are usually already in place without having to chain themselves to third party platforms.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Sears, the global leader in retail shopping. Our integration into Sear’s mobile technologies means that Sears’ shoppers can now find their products easier and quicker than ever before. And we hope to see awesome advancements in indoor-location based services that will continue to benefit shoppers across the board,” noted Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal.
We’re very excited to see what the future holds for our partnership with Sears. Harnessing the power of Micello’s powerful SDK, we have no doubt that Sears has just become a serious contender in the mobile retail sector.
Discover more with icons groups
Adding new bold colors to our icons allow icons to instantly come to life against the softness of the building background. In addition to bold icon colors, icons within the same ‘family’ are now grouped together by their colors which makes finding purple escalators and green ATM icons easier than ever before.
Enhanced Icon Definition
Take your POIs to a whole new level with enhanced icons that have undergone a subtle, yet powerful transformation. Building amenities such as ATMs, public restrooms, restaurants and even level change icons have been redefined with soft and flat colors that clash nicely with darker strokes, ensuring users to know exactly where these services are while in large venues, such as shopping malls, airports, casinos and even stadiums.
Read easier with sleek fonts
Fonts play an important role when it comes to indoor mapping in that specific font types and font sizes can be easier to read. So naturally, we scaled back the font so that more store names appear instantly upon loading the map. We’ve also removed the capitalization so that fonts appear like regular readable text. And lastly, we reformatted the font type with a grey Helvetica font type to modernize the text in a subtle way.
Beautiful Stunning Colors
By using non-clashing colors that aim to compliment each other, we’ve created a design that users will want to stare at. Combined with the subtleties of softness and flatness, our maps can now easily fit in almost any well designed application with minimal design work. Building Backgrounds, Stores, Gates, Shelves, Bins, Walls, Restrooms and so much more have all gotten new colors that users will find easy to recognize and interact with.
Soft Shadows & Textures
We recognize a lot of users love the ability to include textures and shadows on various objects throughout the map, so we’ve gone ahead and kept this functionality in the SDK. In the new theme, we’ve gone ahead and hid these features to match with a more modern flat design look. Taking advantage of soft complimentary colors that don’t create unwanted noise to the eye, the new design has all the attractiveness of 2014 design techniques, with the power needed for displaying objects that are harder to define, like grass and water.
Of course, these are just some of the ways we’ve designed the map to create a more modern theme. However, we still allow developers to completely customize the look and feel of the map to match any specific design their application has. In fact, we encourage developers to try their hand at redesigning the maps so that they can get a full picture of how powerful the SDK truly is. If you’re interested in indoor maps, check out our www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor mapping news, visit www.micello.com/blog.
We were excited to learn about the brand-new release of a revolutionary technology that will aim to put a stop to the horrors of losing precious battery life to the powerful forces of GPS. We’ve all been there; You're in a rush to get somewhere and need your GPS to help you out, but you’re battery is running dangerously low. Finally, there is a company that is poised to put an end to that pesky battery-draining GPS. The company is called PathSense, and they claim to provide GPS comparable accuracy, but with 90% less battery drain. We truly believe this effort is an enormous advancement in location technology and PathSense couldn’t have chosen a better time to release their SDK to developers.
The Carlsbad, CA company, is planning on releasing a their SDK for free for developers and license the technology for high-usage developers. Currently, developers can access the beta release of the SDK for iOS and Android apps. PathSense may also offer premium accounts on top of the traditional free SDK in the future. With just a few lines of code, developers can easily replace their location service code with the sample code found on PathSense’s homepage
PathSense recently showcased their technology that had been in development for the last two years at DEMO Conference 2014 and has since received quite a lot of well-deserved press. Micello fans will probably recall our launch at DEMOFall 2009 five years ago! :)
PathSense is lead by founder Pete Tenereillo, who has been a Silicon Valley veteran in the LBS space for a while now. Tenereillo began development of PathSense following the sale of his previous social navigation platform, Trapster, to NAVTEQ back in 2010.
As this technology continues to advance, we’ll definitely be keeping tabs on it and one-day hope to see this battery-saving GPS transition indoors.
Make sure to stay up-to-date- on all the latest indoor mapping news by visiting our Getting Started page, www.micello.com/start. To find the latest news on the entire indoor wayfinding industry, check out www.micello.com/blog.
It’s hard to believe that we are just around the corner from the holidays. With Thanksgiving and Black Friday quickly approaching, we thought that we’d help out all of you shoppers out there with the must have list of technologies to take with you to help your shopping experience go much smoother this year. Even if you’re not the Black Friday type, these tools are just great to have all year long.
Micello Retail & Shopping Mall Maps- Of course, we’ve made the list. Our full collection of over 20,000 indoor maps are sure to help you find all the specific stores, products, airport gates and anything else you’re looking for on Friday morning. With maps of all major airports, shopping malls, stadiums, colleges, and retailers, Micello’s indoor maps are definitely a must have. And before you think you don’t need a map to find the new TV section in a department store, think again. Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. So busy in fact, many retailers have to strategically place advertised black-friday products in hidden areas throughout the store to avoid major traffic build ups in one portion of the store. So who do you think will get the new TV hiding in the outdoor patio section? The person with the Micello map displaying the correct TV location, or the person without one? Better play it safe: www.micello.com/places
Shop Your Way - For those of you who may be wanting to add a touch of technology to their shopping, Shop-your-Way is an app that will do just that. If you plan on checking out Sears, or Kmart this year, the Shop-Your-Way allows you to get exclusive member prices, find clothing, chat with your store rep, and even purchase your favorite gifts right from the comfort of the app, which then becomes available for in-store pickup. Make sure to pick this handy little application up on Google Play, or the iOS App Store.
TGI Black Friday App - TGI Black Friday is a very interesting application for those of you who love to keep track of all their Black-Friday deals and coupons. This cool little app allows users to create personalized shopping lists based on their favorite holiday gift ideas. What's even cooler about this application is the ability to brag to all your friends about the awesome deals you’re picking up on the hottest shopping day of the year. With all that is mind, there is no doubt that this app is essential to have in your arsenal for the big day! This app is available for both Google Play & iOS App Store.
Black Friday App - Don’t let the name fool you on this notable application. The Black Friday application is essential for the avid black-friday shopper. With products from major retailers, such as Macy’s, Black Friday lets users browse through tons of product images and reviews to help them make the perfect gift decision. I might add that the app creators Fat Wallet gave it a pretty cool looking redesign that is sure to knock your socks off. This app is available for both Google Play & iOS App Store.
Westfield.com.au - This is for our friends who will be traveling "down-under" this Black-Friday. Equipped with enhanced Micello mall maps, this web tool allows users to browse a virtual shopping mall in order to shop from the comfort of their own home, or phone. Once you find the exact products you’re looking for, this tool will show you exactly where it is, inside the mall. Oh, and don’t forget to show off what an awesome item you’ve just bought with their seamless social media integration. Westfield has also incorporated interactive mall maps into their iOS application to help users instantly find the stores they are looking for, without the stress of wondering through the mall.
If you’re looking to avoid the wait and begin turning your hectic Black-Friday shopping experience into a easy mobile occasion, make sure to check out the first step in the process by having a beautiful, accurate indoor map of your favorite store. To learn more, check out www.micello.com/start. And make sure to stay up to date on all the latest infoor wayfinding news at www.micello.com/blog.
Micello’s partners CSR is making big waves yet again, as the company announces the release of SiRFusion,™ a sophisticated indoor positioning SDK that is tackling the indoors for Android smartphone users. Through the release of SiRFusion,™ CSR is hoping to power a whole new generation of indoor location based applications for the Android market.
Interested developers can now access the SiRFusion™ library to quickly integrate indoor-LBS technologies, such as location tagging, social networking analytics, positioning, worker safety/efficiency monitoring, localized e-commerce, and asset tracking.
What excites us about the launch of SiRFusion,™ is the ability to deliver these innovative LBS services without the costly process of surveys and retrofitting infrastructure. By combining WiFi signals, pedestrian dead reckoning, satellite positioning and CSR’s cloud based indoor positioning, CSR is poised to make indoor navigation a part of everyday life.
SiRFusion™ utilizes the power of the masses by automatically crowdsourcing a venue’s WiFi access points as they shop. What’s more is that SiRFusion™ is enginnered to incorporate future positioning technologies such as, Bluetooth® Smart beacons, Wi-Fi Round Trip Time (RTT), and Indoor Messaging System (IMES).
Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President, Business Group at CSR, commented in CSR’s November 20 Press Release, “Offering indoor positioning accurate enough to be useful has been a challenge that the industry has been trying to solve for many year. But with consumers coming to expect anytime-anywhere positioning wherever they are, our customers have continued to express a growing interest for accurate indoor positioning without the need for additional infrastructure. With our SiRFusion Software Development Kit, we have, for the first time, made indoor location a reality for developers who want to deliver innovative location-based products and services without proprietary infrastructure.”
The SDK will be available for Android developers in Q1 2015 and can be found at www.csr.com. Developers will be given access to the SiRFusion™ library, API descriptions, and a Developer’s Guide.
Of course, every great indoor-positioning SDK needs a well designed indoor map SDK to really harness the power of e-commerce and analytics. By coupling indoor positioning with our enterprise-grade indoor maps, developers can have the power to not only show you where you’re standing in the mall, but they will also be able to display the information in a well-designed and interactive format, that they control. Because of our demonstrated performance with CSR, we’re proud of the milestones they are reaching within this space and continue to wish them future success.
Make sure to stay up-to-date- on all the latest indoor mapping news by visiting our Getting Started page, www.micello.com/start. To find the latest news on the entire indoor wayfinding industry, check out www.micello.com/blog.
We recently came across an article by Bruce Krulwich that discussed the overall impact that the Qualcomm acquisition of CSR will have, not just on the internet of things (IoT), but also on the entire mobile indoor location industry as a whole.
With the announcement of this huge deal back in mid-October, we’ve been following this deal to see how this will work to alter the movement toward connecting just about everything to the internet. In addition to Qualcomm, other chip companies like ARM have also made recent acquisition deals related to the internet of things, and we will most likely continue to see these kinds of deals more often as the IoT market is poised to become even bigger than the smartphone market.
While the IoT is looking to be a big factor behind this deal, Krulwich also feels as though another market may have also been on the mind of Qualcomm at the time of the deal; the mobile indoor location industry.
One point that has been often overlooked by various media sources is the benefit that CSR will bring to Qualcomm’s mobile location technologies. Specifically, Qualcomm’s manufactured indoor location chips, IZat.
IZat, which are already available on over 3 billion devices, are chips that claim to give mobile users the ability to see your location, friends, and deals within your immediate area.
What does this mean for the mobile indoor location industry as a whole? We feel this represents a shifting trend in solving the indoor positioning puzzle at the hardware level. Other companies that also have begun manufacturing indoor-location chips include Broadcom, and Invensense who recently acquired Micello indoor positioning partners, Movea and Trusted Positioning.
Currently, Qualcomm’s IZat chips only work in Korea and other areas that provide Qualcomm with enough location information to be accurate. However, Krulwich predicts CSR’s Mobile SLAM to change all that!
As of today, the current state of the indoor positioning market utilizes two main approaches to plot a user’s location on an indoor map. The first approach involves bluetooth beacons, WiFi access-points, radio signals, magnetic fields or a combination of these technologies to gather a database of radio footprints which read and recognize the signal strengths at any location to get a unique fingerprint for that exact location. In this space, we’ve worked with many different companies that have developed these kinds of technologies, which also requires this fingerprint database to be calibrated and gathered manually at every location in order for it to scale.
The second approach, called Sensor Fusion, makes use of the sensors built into the phone to find it’s location indoors. A phone’s gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, and barometer can all be used to track changes in a user’s location and altitude. However, because these sensor technologies are still relatively new, errors in the location can be common whenever there is an obstruction, or magnetic pulse that throws theses sensors off.
With both of these two approaches available, CSR development of a third type called, Mobile SLAM, aims to create a hybrid solution that first uses sensor fusion to track a user’s location, but then utilizes data from a fingerprint database to filter out errors in the location output. Over time, the positioning system will continue to record the fingerprint data and automatically learn a new site based on this.
If Qualcomm decides to use CSR’s SLAM technology in their iZat chips, there is no limit to the possibility of having indoor-positioning built in to your next smart-phone purchase. If the word “SLAM” sounds familiar to you, it may be from Apple’s acquisition of WiFi SLAM a while back that led many to predict Apple will eventually release their own SLAM technology.
As noted by Krulwich,
“If Qualcomm does succeed in incorporating CSR's SLAM technology into IZAT, their chips may power the next generation of indoor location technology in a wide variety of smartphones, mobile devices and IoT devices. This would truly be a grand SLAM for both companies.”
We’re very excited to watch this technology continue to advance and become available for as many users as possible. As far as Micello, we’ll just continue to focus on building accurate and stunning indoor maps for these technologies to be plotted on. To learn more about indoor mapping, check out www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, visit www.micello.com/blog.
Read More at Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2648355-qualcomm-and-cambridge-silicon-r...