Micello Blog: Indoor Cartography
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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
Micello is located in Santa Clara, CA. With the big shopping season just around the corner, any Bay Area native will tell you that going to a mall, airport, department store or even stopping for a bite to eat can quickly turn hectic if you find yourself stuck circling around a parking lot for 15 minutes trying to find that one open space in a sea of cars.
Micello wants to change all that.
What do maps of parking lots have to do with indoor maps? Well, we see parking lot maps as just the beginning of the ultimate wayfinding experience. Why should your routing end once you drive up to the mall? Shouldn’t your navigation first route you to the mall itself, then transition to a parking lot map that routes your car to the nearest open parking space? We think it should.
With Micello’s indoor map API, we give developers the tools they need to press on in pursuit of this ultimate wayfinding achievement. Detailed, yet beautiful indoor maps of not only buildings, but also the surrounding parking lots and entrances, help to make this transition easier than ever before.
Using Micello’s JSON data formats with Leaflet and other tools, our maps have the ability to come alive when moving from outdoor to indoors. Each parking space is assigned its own unique geometry ID, giving developers the unique capabilities which before, they may have never thought possible.
We’d love to show you how you can add indoor maps into your application today. Visit www.micello.com/start to learn more. To keep up to date on all the latest indoor wayfinding news, check out www.micello.com/blog.
Micello had a fantastic time celebrating Diwali this year!
For those of you who have never heard of this ancient Hindu festival, it comes around every autumn and is celebrated all over the world. The long history of Diwali stems back all the way to ancient India to celebrate the end of the harvest in the Hindu calendar of Kartika. In ancient Hindu scripture, divas (lamps) are mentioned as a symbolic representation of the sun who is the ultimate giver of light.
Over time, Diwali has come to be celebrated as a representation of the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. There are a few traditions that have made their mark on Diwali. Rangoli, a hindu folk art which has been created on the floors of living rooms and courtyards for centuries act as a constant reminder of light’s triumph over darkness. It’s always fun when you can defeat darkness, but still have a little fun in the process.
Micello’s India team is looking like they are having a fantastic time! On behalf of the whole Micello team, we hope everyone had a memorable Diwali and may your future be filled with brightness as well!
Check out what’s been happening at Micello-India:
Micello coworkers painting a traditional Rangoli painting for the 2014 Diwali Festival
Micello employees enjoying fireworks for Diwali 2014
Traditional ceremony in the office during Diwali 2014
Family is important to Micello. Mr. Agarwal (grandfather of Micello’s CEO) joined in on the festivities.
Wearable tech is all the craze following the announcements for Google Glass, health bands, Samsung Gear and finally, Apple Watch. We’re excited about these new ventures and form factors, and we’re already seeing the importance in being able to integrate indoor maps into any device for developer’s applications, including wearable tech.
Like most in the Valley, we’ve been keeping close tabs on these product announcements to make sure we’re fully up to date on the latest features and functions each new platform can offer. And yes, we’re already thinking of the new frontier for our indoor maps platform.
One thing to remember about Micello’s indoor map platform is that it is very flexible. Part of making our SDK one of the most flexible map SDK around was designing an fairly sophisticated plug-in architecture that gives developers the ability to share, fork and improve upon new features in a standardized format. By doing this, we’ve also kept the API code clean and short so that it is easy to develop complex applications from all your favorite tools and integrate them seamlessly with an indoor map.
It’s an exciting time you might for this industry and we’d love to hear your take on this. Is this the future of indoor maps?
While maps can be a fantastic feature for any customer based application, the need for indoor maps doesn’t stop there. We’ve seen a lot of customers over the past couple of years ask about indoor maps that can be incorporated into internal tools. Knowing exactly where all your employees and guests are inside the venue can be a vital component for any internal application. Directly from the industry leaders that we speak to on a day to day basis, here is the most requested features for an awesome internal application.
Data Measurement: Long gone are the days of making important company decisions based on your gut alone. In today’s data driven world, it is possible to make important decisions, partly based on measurable results. Where to place an advertised product, where are your employees spending the most time, is the venue fully stocked, are there any hazards present that put firms as risk for liability? These are the kinds of questions that we see industry leaders asking themselves. A great example of this is heat maps that are increasing in popularity within the IT circle. However, instead of a static floorplan that can only show you the limited data, an interactive map has the capability to measure this data and allow you to act based on it. Our unique geometry ID system contextualizes this data far better than a static floor-plan. Micello gives enterprises the ability to not only display their data, but also interact with it and make those really important decisions based on a living and breathing map that adapts as they progress.
“Micello gives enterprises the ability to not only display their data, but also interact with it in order to make those really important decisions based on a living and breathing map that adapts and changes with them.”
Location Tracking: This seems to come up a lot with customers looking to monitor their traffic and employees throughout the day, especially with the busy shopping season just around the corner. Knowing where your employees are spending the majority of their time can allow companies to target their scarce resources to the problem areas that would be otherwise hidden. Safety is always a huge concern for these customers and Micello’s maps allow companies to both monitor and measure it. Besides safety, we’re finding other companies who love the idea of having their employees be able to instantly see their co-workers location on an indoor map because it can be pretty hard to find each other on a large business campus. Meetings, email, lunch, sales calls, brainstorming and other day-to-day tasks can make the act of finding your co-workers a real chore. Micello aims to end the annoyance of this task by giving users the ability to find their co-workers instantly, no matter where they are on campus.
“Safety is always a huge concern for these customers and Micello’s maps allow companies to both monitor and measure."
Emergency: When Micello first began, indoor maps was still a very new and almost undiscovered concept. During our early years, we were paid a visit by the first Chief Technology Office of the United States, Aneesh Chopra in our first Sunnyvale, CA location. Mr. Chopra was fascinated by our indoor maps and immediately saw the potential they had to help emergency personnel navigate their way into a dangerous situation. Fast forward some months after this meeting and President Obama specifically mentioned indoor maps in his 2011 State of the Union by stating, "It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device.” We knew indoor maps would be a huge plus for emergency personnel and while the maps we publish for these kinds of customers remain private, we see the value in having first responders with indoor maps being able to see your location and be able to find you quicker.
"It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device.” - President Barack Obama 2011 State of the Union Address
So whether you are a first responder, a computer programmer, or a grocery stocker, indoor maps can make you and your co-workers jobs much easier. Micello ensures that your sensitive materials remain private to you. By working together with industry pioneers looking to make their workplace safer and more efficient, we hope to help make the world a better place. To learn more about indoor maps, visit www.micello.com/start and to keep up to date on all the latest indoor mapping news, check-out our blog: www.micello.com/blog.
Over the past couple of months we’ve shared some great tips on how to customize and enhance your indoor mapping experience. In this post, we’re going to take a step back from all of that and get down to basics. What we’re talking about is main points we like to cover will all of our new customers to make sure their map implementation is very successful.
What materials do I need to make a map?
We’ve worked very hard over the past few years perfecting our map making process. Part of this required the ability to ingest many forms of map data provided by our clients. Almost anything you have can be ingested and processed into a Micello map. However, the better information and materials you provide us, the more detailed the map will be. Our maps have been created from sources such as: architecture maps, evacuation maps, emergency maps, layout maps, brochure maps, even photos from a mobile device such as iPhone or Android. From these sources, we generally can return a Micello map within 7-10 business days in image files (JPGs, PNGs, GIFs), PDF, CAD files and Microstation files.
How are the maps created?
We’ve developed an internal proprietary process and a finely tuned digital assembly line to create indoor maps. We’ve literally converted the art of map-making into a repeatable and scalable manufacturing process. We call this our “Map Factory.” Because our production facilities work in high volumes, your venues are created and maintained efficiently and in a timely manner. And one more important detail here: We never charge for making maps!
What is indoor positioning and do you have it?
Commonly referred to as “indoor GPS”, indoor positioning is the ability to ascertain your location inside a structure where normal GPS signals are unable to penetrate and provide an accurate position. We have integrated with many of the top companies and technologies and we’re constantly striving to add additional technologies to our mapping capability. Check out the full list of our positioning partners, at www.micello.com/partners
How much does it cost?
Micello charges a monthly subscription fee based on the number of venues registered in your account. Our maps start at just $49/venue per month. This includes unlimited access to the Micello platform and APIs for your mobile and web solutions. This means no restrictions, no usage cap, and no worries. In fact, most of our customers love the fact that Micello maps pay for themselves and are risk free as we allow them to add, subtract and cancel maps at anytime.
Do the maps come with navigation?
Absolutely! We’ve built an entire indoor navigation technology platform so we can offer the ability to find your way from one point to another inside the location. Our platform, which produces a unique and accurate network for each map, offers multiple types of routing including: point-to-point navigation, multi-floor navigation and even building to building navigation
Can I customize the map?
Built with a robust data structure, our maps are highly customizable using our Software Development Kit to do any of the following: change themes, add a deep integration to back end databases, add icons and markers, integrate with social media platforms, utilize product search, modify map controls, customize the UI, and even build in custom actions based on activities of the map. Of course, when the world changes around us, so do indoor maps so we are always working to add more customizations that we haven’t even thought of yet.
What kind of map products do you offer?
Can I see a map in action?
Not only are you seeing the map live on our API, but there are also some excellent customers examples that are currently live. Westfield Australia is perfect example of what some of our customers are doing with indoor maps:
If you’d like to speak with our customer solutions team to see how you can impliment an indoor map on your website or application, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to open a dialogue with you. To stay up date on all the latest indoor mapping news, check out www.micello.com/blog