Navigation comes easily in animals, and it seems to be an innate ability for migrating animals to be able to navigate using the geomagnetic fields of the Earth.
IndoorAtlas hopes to bring this ability to us as well, not to navigate the long distances that mirating animals travel but to help us find our way inside buildings. To to this they will be equpping us with an updated version of mankind’s oldes navigating technology, the humble compass on our smartphones.
Developers from Finland’s University of Oulu discovered that steel masses inside buildings are able to affect the Earth’s magnetic field in a way that it creates a unique pattern to navigate by. The result of these patterns of magnetic fields is a navigatable map generated on the smartphone.
IndoorAtlas Ltd was created to commercialize the invention. The best part about how the technology works is that it does not require any help from wireless signals in order to function. The innovation is also accurate to within 0.1 meter to 2 meters, depending on the building you’re in. Online toolkits are already available online to download
This is pretty cool technology, seeing as not too long ago the only way to navigate indoors was by static maps on information counters, or the old fashioned way of asking for directions. New technology is definitely much more interesting, even if it can be used for something as simple as finding an isle in the supermarket.