Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography
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Ask someone under 30 if they’ve read the Harry Potter books and, most likely, you’ll get yes for an answer. It’s no surprise then that last week’s company lunch was full of talk about the upcoming seventh movie (to be released on 11/19). In fact, we got so excited that we decided to try something new: create a fictional map of the Hogwarts Castle. It took some time and extra imagination, but as of tonight, Hogwarts stands to be explored in the Micello Maps application (iOS/Android), somewhere in the reaches of Scotland, bordering the shores of an icy loch. It’s like a Marauder’s Map for your smartphone (which I’m sure Harry would have appreciated.)
Micello will be at a couple of events tomorrow:
Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal, will be speaking as a panelist tonight for the “Going Mainstream with Mobile Marketing” event put on by VC Taskforce. He will be speaking about the importance of location in the Mobile Marketing arena and the different levels at which consumers can be targeted.
You can watch all of the Fast Pitches from this year’s Under the Radar conference here, including the Micello pitch given by CEO Ankit Agarwal.
A great piece written by Janice Partyka and published last month by GPS Worldoutlines the broadening horizons of mobile solutions for enterprise, as business users move away from RIM and towards iPhone and Android devices. What consumers are getting for free from apps, businesses are willing to pay for. And this goes for the burgeoning location-based sector as well. The whole article is worth a read, but here’s our favorite part:
Like the run-up to every Halloween, the preparing of costumes and (possibly) livers, for a weekend of tricking, treating, and brushing the caramel off your teeth, is in full throttle. It might just be that the Giants, conveniently orange and black, won game 1 of the World Series last night, but Halloween spirit seems to be at a fever pitch.
As we’ve mentioned before, indoor maps will serve as the infrastructure beneath the coming boom of LBS and social retail. A recent report published by Gartner, confirms that “mobility” will pass the trillion dollar mark by 2014 — fueled primarily by applications and mobile social services. Gartner includes mapping systems as one of the major platforms that will fuel the upward trend for the industry.
Positive news backs this up: Navteq sales increased 52% year over year in Q3 and Nokia’s OviMaps has seen a doubling of usage in the last quarter. This just confirms our excitement of being one of the major players in the indoor mapping space. There is a lot of room to grow.
But the value of indoor mapping data grows significantly with the accuracy of indoor positioning on mobile devices, which would allow for some game-changing functionality in indoor navigation. Given that a lot of great minds and companies are working on improving it, we see this as inevitable. Indeed, the last couple of weeks (and days) have given us more reason to be optimistic about the positioning space.
A number of positioning companies are getting significant levels of funding, which is evidence that the need and interest is getting to a fever pitch. This week Insiteo, a geo-location startup, raised a respectable 3.5m euro for their second round of funding. (Congratulations, guys!) Insiteo claims its assisted-GPS provides sub 3-meter positioning. Qubulus, another indoor positioning upstart, completed an agreement with Scandinavian telecom Telia Sonera to use their radio footprint patents to integrate into their technology. Qubulus is definitely a company to watch in the coming months. Finally, Israeli GPS provider CellGuide is integrating a digital elevation model to improve GPS on the Z-axis (very exciting for those of you using our maps in malls.)