Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography

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Earlier today, Raj Singh, a mobile guru/veteran in the valley, posted an article on his blog comparing outdoor maps with indoor maps. Its a wonderful summary and pretty spot-on. Check it out here

January 23, 2011

On Saturday (1/8/11), the Micello team was excited to host Mr. Aneesh Chopra, the Chief Technology Officer for the United States Government, at our headquarters in Sunnyvale. Mr. Chopra is going around the country to help find ways to grow the economy, create new jobs, find technology-based solutions to make health care more efficient and protect the homeland.  He’s also probably one of the most energetic people we’ve ever met – always connecting the dots and finding ways to make things happen.

Ankit Agarwal, CEO of Micello, demonstrated the Micello Maps application running on the iPad (we checked out The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Mr. Chopra’s neighborhood). Within 30 seconds of seeing the indoor maps and talking through how people use the maps, Aneesh exclaimed, “Wow, this is awesome” and high-fived Ankit. 

Later in the afternoon, Ankit and Mr. Chopra privately spent a few minutes talking about the value of indoor maps for hospitals, for government buildings and for first responders / emergency solutions.  Recently, there has been a big push to release some government data via APIs for companies to build innovative solutions.

Special thanks to Mr. Chopra for coming over to visit us. The entire team enjoyed the meeting

Micello is currently hiring for a top notch JavaScript developer. If you are interested, please contact us as info@micello.com

January 10, 2011

WCA, Silicon Valley's Wireless Communication Alliance, conducted a panel discussion on indoor LBS at the Qualcomm premises in Santa Clara on Thursday, December 9th. The event was very well attended with 100+ paid attendees. Raj Singh did an excellent job in moderating the panel by asking all the right questions. The panelists included Ankit Agarwal of Micello, Jerry Luk of Presdo, Jeremy Geiger of Retailigence, Robert Schoenfield of Polaris Wireless, Kiyo Kubo of Spotlight Mobile, Tristian Lacroix of IndoorLBS, Josh Marti of PointInside and Jeremy Aqulnek of Navteq

 

The panelists comprised of companies that provided indoor maps (Micello, Navteq and PointInside); companies that provided position (Polaris Wireless); companies that build applications that utilize both the maps and the position (Presdo, Spotlight Mobile, Retailigence) and an indoor observer (Indoor LBS). This was the first ever such discussion focused on the indoor - the last frontier to be conquered. As the blurb introducing the panel said, "It is estimated that North Americans spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. Yet nearly 100% of the mapping and location applications are built for outdoor use. As new technologies become available for indoor location and mapping providers begin to commercialize their systems, the dawn of the indoor location application is here." If the number of attendees is any indication, there is certainly a huge amount of interest in this area. Thanks to WCA for putting this together and to Qualcomm for hosting the event.

 

Raj started by posing questions to the panelists on the differences between indoor and outdoor maps. The panelists concurred that the indoor world is different and the users have greater expectations on their interactions with indoor maps. Next he established the need for indoor maps - that applications can provide far richer user experiences using indoor maps. Raj then steered the conversation towards positioning and the value of indoor positioning. Once again, the application developers established that this is extremely valuable data and they would willing to pay to get this information accurately (within 5m). Finally, Raj posed the question on the business model viability - saying that there is a need for this technology, but who is willing to pay for it. There was agreement that the value provided to the end user is high enough that this ecosystem will have its own velocity and momentum.

December 10, 2010

KPIX, the Bay Area CBS channel, featured Micello CEO, Ankit Agarwal, in the 11:00 pm evening news that aired on Friday, Dec. 3rd. 2010. In the interview KPIX Anchorman Joe Vasquez meets Ankit at a local Shopping Center, Cupertino Village, and they use the Micello Maps application on an iPhone to search for "Coffee" and get turn-by-turn directions within a map of the Mall to the Coffee Shop.  Here is an excerpt of that interview: 

December 6, 2010

This week might be a short one, but it hasn’t been short on interesting industry announcements. The biggest of which being that Microsoft has recruited OpenStreetMap (OSM) founder Steve Coast to join their Bing Maps Mobile team as Principal Architect.

The geo industry has been buzzing about the news -- Coast being a towering figure in the mapping world and one of the most prominent advocates for open data. Microsoft seems to be increasingly interested in challenging Google’s map offerings and building up its own arsenal. In August, Bing added an OSM layer to its maps and is now allowing its aerial photos to be used by the OSM community. Not surprising since the future looks bright for the industry as a whole, especially as location continues to increase in importance. There are a number of reactions to the news worth reading, including on All PointsJames FeeGISuser, and ReadWriteWeb.

In other news, Wi-Fi provider JiWire has acquired NearbyNow which, paraphrased by TechCrunch, “allows brands to show products within an app or an ad and confirm availability of the product in the actual store. Users can also reserve the product in the store for pickup.” JiWire is making bullish moves into the LBS sector, and is trying to move beyond check-ins by combining location-based advertising with merchandise platforms. A report released by JiWire last week seemed to pre-empt the deal, showing off high numbers of LBS usage during the holiday season.

November 24, 2010

Micello’s Android/iPhone application was featured in an article by Patrick May in this morning’s San Jose Mercury as a great app for shoppers during the holiday season. Micello Maps currently holds over 2000 maps throughout the country, with many more on the way. Search for products, navigate and find your way around confusing shopping malls, using our intuitive and clutter-free interactive maps. From the article:

Ankit Agarwal, CEO of Sunnyvale-based Micello, says his app does for the inside of shopping centers what Google maps has done for the world outside. It’s fairly simple — sort of an interactive map that allows you to locate products inside a mall and then get walking directions to your destination. It’s easy to use, with a clean interface that removes much of the aggravation shoppers experience as they navigate through the increasingly cluttered realm of the modern shopping center.

‘You’re essentially carrying the mall directory in your pocket,’ says Agarwal.”

Read the full story.

November 20, 2010

 A survey on the uses of LBS by Wi-Fi provider J-Wire, found that 61% of respondents found store location to be the most important LBS feature:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprisingly, 89% of respondents reported that they would use some sort of LBS tool during the holiday shopping season — an enormous difference from the 4% reported in the latest Pew Survey. This actually makes sense –the vast majority of these users are traveling and are turning to public Wi-Fi over their mobile network. While traveling,  people need help searching for basic location information, especially store location information if they’re doing some shopping. You’ve got to find the store before you can shop there.

Read the full report here.

via Retailigence

November 19, 2010

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.)

 

This is not only our first fictional map — it’s also our first published map in Europe. We’ve added navigation, but trust it at your own risk – the walls and staircases of Hogwarts are subject to random shifts. There are 10 castle levels filled with your favorite places and complete with nifty descriptions:

Snape’s Private Potion Store:

“Monkswood and wolfsbane, bezoars galore

Veritaserum and liquid luck in store

Rat tail, beetle eye, sopophorous bean

For any elixir or concoction you please

Gather your ingredients before class begins

Just don’t let Snape catch you breaking in!”

The Divination Tower:

“To sense more than just stars deep into the night

To decipher tea leaves and possess the Sight

Broaden your mind, you must look beyond

No use for textbooks or tricks of the wand

Does your Inner Eye See? Are you gifted inside?

Divination will lift you and open your eyes”

Here’s a screenshot of the ground floor as seen on an iPad:

 

We do want give credit to DeviantArt user Hogwarts-Castle for fabulous drawings of Hogwarts and the Harry Potter Wiki for many of the room descriptions. We also want to thank Anita Subramanyam, Chitra Subramanyam and Roma Parekh for helping us come up with a number of hidden gems.

Be sure to send us any feedback or ideas for room names! We would love to continue updating the map. And, finally, if you want your own Marauders Map, we’d love to map out your school for you!

 

 

November 17, 2010

Micello will be at a couple of events tomorrow:

CTO Prakash Narayan will be presenting at the TelecomCouncil’s Mobile Forum, as part of a panel discussing “hyperlocal” mobility. He will be joined by Mayank Mehta, Product Management Director at CoolIris, and Marcus Wandell, CEO of Antengo. The event is being held at Ericsson in San Jose, from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM and the panel will be starting at 9:45 AM.

Later in the day, both Prakash Narayan and Micello VP Business Anil Agarwal will be taking part in GIS Day 2010 at UC Berkeley’s Mulford Hall. They will be speaking about the importance of indoor maps from 5:30 to 6:00 PM.

Hope to see you there!

November 16, 2010

 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.

Ankit will be joined by a number of other panelists, including Dhana Pawar, the co-founder of Mobmark; Deepak Thomas, General Manager at eBay Classifies; Iryna Newman, Head of Mobile Marketing for SendMe; and Michael Bayle, VP of Monetization and Marketing at Amobee. The event will be moderated by Stephen Burke, the VP of Mobile Strategy at Resource Interactive.

The panel begins at 7 p.m. tonight and will be discussing the latest trends mobile marketing and how they are helping to shape this nascent industry. Register here.

November 15, 2010

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