Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography
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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...
Finding an open seat in an conference room just got a whole lot easier. This was the first thought that began to circle the Micello office when we learned that Micello’s French partner, MySeat, was bringing their revolutionary technology to the United States. MySeat, who’s been live for various companies in the suburbs of Paris, offers a complete space management solution that involves placing a sensor underneath every chair for recording daily analytics and occupancy. The data is then displayed in a beautiful dashboard interface which includes a visual Micello map of every seat in the building. So whether you’re a student looking for a few open chairs in the library, a gym club member wanting to avoid the rush hours on the treadmills, or an employee wanting to know which conference rooms are open, MySeat and Micello are working to enhance the process of finding that open seat for you.
Check out this quick video to see the MySeat technology in action:
Here are just some of the ways companies are collaborating more efficiently by managing their workspace with MySeat:
Save up to 30% of space
“Let’s say you have 10 meeting rooms. If you observe that the occupation rate of these 10 meeting rooms never goes beyond 80%, then you can allocate two meeting rooms to another use. By freeing spaces in different floors and sites, you might even free enough space to be able to remove one floor from your rental contract. You can also sublease free spaces.”
Employees collaborate more efficiently and save time
“A very common question is: “Is there any free seat/meeting room?” or “Should I go to this floor/site or this one?” Mobility is not always easy. Thanks to MySeat, workers can know remotely whether seats are available or not. Stop wandering.”
Make data-grounded decisions
“Do A/B testing and identify what assets (furniture, lighting, services) occupiers prefer. Avoid mistakes, learn from past experiments and prevent conflicts by using objective and precise data.”
If you’re looking to start managing your workspace analytics and offer employees a way to collaborate more efficiently and faster, make sure to visit http://myseatoccupancy.com/ To begin the first step in the process by having a beautiful, accurate indoor map of your campus, check out www.micello.com/start. And make sure to stay up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news at www.micello.com/blog.
Finally, a map SDK that puts you in the cockpit!
We’ve thought long and hard about where our place is in the growing indoor location sector. During this time, we’ve recognized that the enterprise market has almost been overlooked by the wave of indoor-mapping excitement. In fact, we believe that the enterprise indoor map market has the potential to shape the entire indoor mapping industry, one application at a time. A few weeks ago, we shared why some of the biggest industry names love Micello, but here are just a few points that led leading brands into ultimately choosing Micello’s powerful SDK:
Ultimately the goal is to get an end user to interact with the map. Whether through a consumer facing application, or internal application, the content that appears when a user clicks on a map can be fully determined by the enterprise. Logos, hours, coupons, social-media, internal data; no matter what you ultimately decides to showcase in a pop-up, Micello’s SDK lets you make the call.
Navigating an indoor map on mobile can be a tough challenge for the end user without the ability to set specific map selectors on the map. What may be even more challenging is the process of ensuring the same look for the indoor wayfinding aspect to match the overall design of the application. Map orientation, level selectors, and even store directories can be fully customized to provide a uniform design across the whole application. After all, enterprise shouldn’t have the sacrifice their personal creativity when it comes to indoor mapping.
Shadow & Textures
Just as creativity should never be sacrificed, artistic capability shouldn’t either. Underlay shadows on objects for a map that pops, or remove them to offer a flatter and softer design. With textures, developers have the ability to designate alternate areas or natural elements such as streets, grass, sand and water so that their maps can fully come to life.
Customizable theming capabilities give developers a huge advantage in terms of creativity. Enterprise’s should never be told that brown, blue, or yellow is the only color they can work with. Micello is the only indoor map SDK that gives the developer full discretion to change the color of any object on the map. Our map is your sandbox!
Icons have a pretty unique role when it comes to indoor maps. Signalling important POIs, such as ATMS, restrooms, level changes, entrances and even handicap access are vital for the end user experience. The ability to add custom icons, as well as removing unneeded ones lets companies dictate the relevant information back to the user in an efficient way. Even setting the colors of icons gives an added ability of choosing bold or soft colors for your icons. Want to make all escalator and stair icons the same color? Want to set different colors for the male and female restrooms? It’s all possible with the strength of Micello’s SDK.
We’re proud to offer one of the most powerful and flexible indoor mapping SDKs on the market. Because we don’t focus on building a complete platform, we can focus our resources as what we’ve always done best; creating accurate indoor maps for the enterprise to take control of. Of course, we’re happy to do some of the heavy lifting if requested, but we like to think our model is fairly innovative. We’d love to discuss how we can retrofit your mobile marketing with the latest indoor-wayfinding technology. Visit www.micello.com/start to learn more today. And to stay up to date on all the latest indoor mapping news, check out www.micello.com/blog.
Image Source: https://placedge.samsung.com/
With the announcement of Apple’s iBeacons last year, the dream of connecting retailers to a user’s nearby location became a very real possibility in the near future. Of course, with any major announcement, the competitive race that follows is also exciting to watch unfold.
Now Samsung has recently announced that they are working with many different system providers in order to provide retailers with their own proximity platform to know exactly where Android users are nearby. Some of the system providers that Samsung is working with include companies like GigaLine, Radius Networks, Roximity and Swirl.
Using Bluetooth Low-energy, which is found in Bluetooth 4.0, are already being included in many of the new smartphones that were sold earlier this year, including Samsungs Galaxy S5 and Note 4.
This will mean that as users begin to upgrade to newer phones in the next couple of years, the release of Samsung’s Proximity Platform will be compatible with new users every year.
As the technology becomes adopted, property managers and stores will be able to send timely discounts, coupons and event notifications to any Android user that walks by. Airports will be able to display current flight information to travelers, museums can display virtual tour functions, sports and music fans can receive event notifications during the event, mall-shoppers can reserve movie seats and much more.
It’s great to see Samsung developing their own proximity platform as this leads to a much larger market for location based technologies.
If you’re looking to avoid the wait and begin interacting with your visitors location today, make sure to check out the first step in the process by building a beautiful, accurate indoor map of your business. 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.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — sensewhereTM, a leading provider of indoor positioning solutions, is today making its new software development kit available ‘licence free’ to mobile device manufacturers and platform providers. The company has also announced that its partners will have the chance to earn revenue from its crowd-sourced regional location databases.
With the indoor positioning and mobile advertising market growing rapidly, particularly with retailers keen to target customers in-store, sensewhere aims to monetise its regional location databases through services supplied to this multi-million dollar industry. To help accelerate population of its databases, sensewhere intends offering participating mobile device manufacturers and significant platform providers the opportunity to earn up to a 25 per cent share of future revenues from its database.
Available on a ‘nil cost’ basis, sensewhere’s Software Development Kit can be integrated on a mobile device at either the Application layer, the OS layer or embedded in the kernel. There is no requirement to install expensive onsite hardware, such as beacons, or time-consuming surveys, and extensive trials have reported at least 100 per cent better accuracy and more than 50 percent power saving against the best competitor in the category.
sensewhere’s crowd-sourcing technology means that, in contrast to other indoor positioning solutions, the location database coverage quickly becomes universal by virtue simply of the use of sensewhere enabled mobile devices in any geographical location.
sensewhere’s SDK delivers ultra-low power positioning (Lat/Long/Alt) in both online and offline modes by seamlessly integrating the device on-board location services with sensewhere’s database in any location where the software is used.
Rob Palfreyman, sensewhere’s CEO, said: “We believe our cutting edge technology coupled with a no-risk commercial model will radically change the world of indoor location. While other positioning companies measure themselves by number of venues covered, customers equipping their devices with sensewhere can benefit from global venue coverage in a very short period of time with zero cost to build the database.
“Our engineering team has paid great attention to delivering a new SDK which incorporates novel features such as automatic online/offline positioning, sensor integration and low power modes, giving location based applications and services the greatest flexibility and power-performance.”
A new article highlighting the benefits of indoor location-based search was recently published by entrepreneur.com. Author and digital marketing consultant Brett Relander, highlights some of the most important features that indoor location-based technologies can have on both big and small businesses. Make sure to check out the full article at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238184.
Just in case you are crunched for time, here are some of the main points included in the article:
“Americans spend more than 80% of their time indoors.”
“By 2016, there will be more than 200,000 indoor locations across America featuring indoor LBS technology.”
“LBS can be combined with mobile marketing via digital place-based media (DPb) that communicates with consumers on the move and invites them to a store. Once implemented, LBS technology provides an enhanced search and shopping experience. Shoppers can locate objects with ease, and also call for service when needed.”
“Businesses can up-sell and cross-sell in real time based on a customer’s search preferences. For example, a person purchasing a printer can be guided to ink cartridges available at a discounted rate.”
“Physical tracking of a customer inside a store yields useful information on behavior. The data can be used to create personalized offers and plan the layout of stores, so that customers can enjoy an experience as intuitive and seamless as possible.”
“Storage, stock-keeping and retrieval of stock keeping units (SKUs) become easier.”
“Malls and garages can implement a smoother parking and vehicle locating system.”
“Mobile payments are another function that can be integrated into LBS apps. Shoppers can be given the option of making an in-store purchase and taking home the purchased items or arranging for delivery.”
So with the holiday season just around the corner, there has never been a more important time to jump on the indoor location-based train. Connecting your guests with deals, important POIs, and vendors can help make the holiday truly special for avid shoppers.
To learn more about how you can start your indoor location journey today, visit www.micello.com/start. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor mapping news, make sure to check www.micello.com/blog to hear about awesome new features and trends.
Emergency maps have played a big role for the first responders that enter a building in order to help injured victims and eliminate threats. Every day, these brave men and women risk their lives by entering a building with very little information in order to get innocent people to safety and hopefully, save the lives of people in danger. Emergency Response technology has come a pretty long way since its introduction, but we think indoor maps that are capable of tracking the location of threats, victims and safety equipment can make it even better, and maybe even save lives in the process!
Here are just a few features that make Micello’s platform capable of enhancing the emergency response technology:
People Tracking: This is one of the biggest obstacles that police and fire face when they enter a building. How many people are in the building? Where are these people? Is a threat still imminent and if so, where is the threat located? The answer to these questions can ultimately mean life or death for the people inside the building. We’ve created a sophisticated open-architecture platform that utilizes various data formats and partner technologies to make the indoor maps do so much more than what a basic emergency floor can show. Tracking user locations is easy with geo-accurate maps that knows the exact real-time coordinates of people’s smartphones inside the building. This means that no matter what condition the person in danger is in, as long as their smartphone is still operating, their location can be pinpointed by first responders on a Micello map. Connecting the locations of both victims and emergency personnel can make it easy to protect the safety of both parties involved.
Equipment Tracking: Having the right safety equipment is also vital in life or death situations. Fire extinguishers and first aid are two important pieces that initially come to mind in an emergency. Knowing exactly where this equipment is can decide whether someone gets the treatment they need in time in order to survive. Micello’s maps are well equipped to display the location of every piece of emergency equipment in the building (even if it is constantly moving). Every object on our maps are assigned a unique geometry address that make it easy to connect your internal tools with the IDs on the map.
Open Architecture: We know how important it is to be able to tie in various tools together in order to make them work more efficiently. Our maps come in all different types of data formats so that developers can ensure fluid transition from outdoor aerial monitoring to interior maps. Additionally, the ability to overlay content, manage the application, and have full control over the map means that our indoor maps can be incorporated into almost any existing emergency response technologies, whether they are internal or outsourced (just make sure to request Micello to be your new map provider in your next meeting).
We’re proud of the great inventory of maps we are building. With well over 25,000 indoor venues already, we’re excited that we can partner with emergency response technologies to help first responders. Building maps and saving lives is what we love to do!
Think back to the last time you went to go see a movie, sporting event, concert etc. If you’re like the rest of the us who love these outings, then chances are you first went online to check the movie times, drove and parked your car in some hard to reach parking space, stood in line to buy tickets, stood in another line to buy snacks, then frantically tried to scan a dark theater to find an open seat for you and your party. You know with all the technologies that have changed in our lifetimes, buying tickets can seem pretty archaic. In a world filled with instant streaming, communication, and purchasing directly from your mobile device, buying a movie ticket almost feels like you’ve jumped in a time machine and went back to 90s. Ugh, the horror !
Well maybe it’s not quite that bad, but with the kinds of technologies that have been developing since then, we think buying movie tickets and snagging the best seat in the house should be even easier.
Enter the Micello theater map. This lightweight, geo accurate seating map is just one step forward toward discovering a whole new way to buy your movie tickets.
There are a couple of things that make Micello’s theater maps different than the kinds of static PDFs that you may find out there:
Map ID System: Each and every map that Micello publishes on their indoor map API is built using our proprietary map making process. When the maps are published, developers will find that every object on the map contains a unique geometry ID that can be then tied in directly with the developers application events. When we say every object, we are talking from the screen itself, all the way down to the bathrooms, and individual seats, each with their own geometry ID. This means that paying and reserving your seat before you even walk into the theater is now all possible.
Developer Controls: As previously mentioned, Micello builds so much more than just a heavy PDF. Micello builds interactive indoor maps that developers have full control over the features of the map. Building a great application that brings multiple technologies together always works better when the individual components of the new technology can be customized to match the overall application.
We’re excited to see what our customers continue to do with our maps. Everyday is a constant surprise as we learn about all the revolutionary application developers are creating. While things such as buying movie tickets, parking your car or finding an open slot machine might seem trivial, these new technologies mean big time and headache savers.
To learn more about indoor maps for theaters and stadiums, check out www.micello.com/start. And to keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, make sure to follow our blog at www.micello.com/blog