Nokia seeking to advance indoor positioning with In-Location Alliance

Nokia has announced today a big link up with more than twenty tech firms to create an In-Location Alliance.  The Alliance was created to advance efforts to promotion of a new standard-based short-range wireless technology that will make it possible to locate objects or positions indoors with extremely high accuracy using mobile devices.

Remember our article about Nokia becoming the Where platform? Well, this just shows how serious Nokia is about this technology. Navigation outside has become something we take for granted, the next big step is high accuracy location inside. There are a number of hurdles to overcome and Nokia is doing the right thing here and establishing an alliance to get things moving. The potential applications for this type of location-based services are likely even more far reaching than its outside variant.

We spoke before with Nokia about the broad idea of places. In that regard we spoke of places as things like home and work. With the advent of this type of technology, that list of places can grow even more. From finding specific things in shops to whizzing you through an airport at the same time as giving you an ETA for you reaching your boarding gate, these services set to get even more powerful.

The In-Location Alliance will work together in three areas of indoor location services:

  • Continue working together on system architecture based on a standard based indoor positioning solution.
  • Alliance members will prepare and execute pre-commercial pilots and practical demonstrations starting in the second half of 2012.
  • Alliance members will brainstorm and evaluate new use cases and new business opportunities based on indoor positioning technology.

The High Accuracy Indoor Positioning (HAIP) technology Nokia is looking to employ is based on Bluetooth 4.0, they say that even in its current form it will have accuracy of one meter. That’s certainly good enough for general positioning inside, it gets much more interesting when they say with modification that can get down to 20cm. Compared to what we have right now that is serious pin point accuracy that’s likely to see industry application for stock control. 

According to Jukka Rantala, who worked on the commercialization of HAIP for Nokia, 

“We are building an eco-system for companies to bring the indoor positioning solution to every building in the world and therefore we need to have companies who are representing different roles in the value chain, like telecom operators, system manufacturers, application developers and handset manufacturers other than Nokia.”

The potential for HAIP is vast covering using your Windows Phone at an airport to guide you to your departing flight to being used in a retail store to locate a particular item to finding your seat at a concert.

We know you guys can’t wait for these advances in location based services. Nokia seems quite confident that this technology will be available sooner rather than later.  With members like Samsung and Broadcom, we’re not surprised they are talking about practical demonstrations for the second half of this year.

Source: Nokia Conversations

  • Finally a way to knock down all those foursquare cheaters! Only check in where you are damnit! LOL
  •   That’s a really good use! Foursquare still full of cheaters then? Maybe that 20cm positioning would be good! RB
  • Considering WP8 doesn't support Bluetooth 4.0, this technology will not be available to Windows Phone for a while.
  •   They are only suggesting “demos” in 2012 – throw in a little software/hardware refresh, maybe we will see something 2013-14. At least things are moving. J RB
  • Things I would use it to keep track of:
    - Keys
    - Wallet
    - TV Remote
  •   Cat, dog, wife, husband, kids, pen, book. Who knows where it will end! RB   
  • Did anyone notice the different colours of the umbrellas? It almost looked like a familiar colour scheme in the Lumia line :)
  • I'm cool with it as long as we can shut it off.... Big brother can be watching you....
  • I hope you unplug your TV whenever you aren't watching it...the FBI can hack a SmartTV and use it to listen to your every conversation...
    Whoa...that last bit seemed like the best!  They had the minor sensor on the bag that notified him when he forgot something...imagine having a dongle on your keys, in a purse or even on a pair of gloves.  If you lost anything you could find it so easily (as long as it was in that building still)..  OHH! Or your remote control! You could get it in your house and know exactly what cushion it was under!!!  Suppose you could use a motion battery like a watch has so you didn't have to recharge them. [Edit, and next time refresh before posting to see if someone had your idea]
  • the new nokia direction really impressive 
  • Another interesting potential opportunity is life safety. Imagine a chip carried on a company id, or on a hotel room card key. If the building is on fire, the fire department/security has immediately visibility to whether any employee/guest is still in the building and if so exact location, all without a rescue personnel rushing in blindly to do a search.