Many older adults can clearly recall a time when GPS was not commonly used on smart phones and other devices. The old methods of finding a new location were to print out a map from your home computer before you left the house, to call for verbal step-by-step directions or to break out a large folded map to look for the address on your own. In many cases, getting lost was also part of the experience. Outdoor navigation was greatly improved through the use of GPS on smart phones and other devices, enabling you to get detailed driving instructions to and from any location within seconds. However, once you reached the front of a building, you were on your own to navigate your way through that building. Indoor navigation for the military has already been heavily tested in various ways, and indoor navigation is now on the brink of revolutionizing the world.
What Is GPS for Indoors?
An indoor positioning system essentially gives you indoor maps of the buildings you are in. They provide you with a full layout of a building, your location in the building and even step-by-step instructions for how to reach different locations in the building. Whether you are in a mall, an airport, a major entertainment venue or a huge office building, you no longer need to worry about getting lost or spending time wandering around until you find where you are going. Indoor navigation has many incredible possibilities in the public and private sectors alike.
The Challenges That Must Be Overcome
As you can imagine, there are many significant challenges that must be overcome before GPS for indoors becomes commonplace. Some venues, such as hospitals and airports, have already implemented its use with great results. However, each venue typically must be mapped individually. This is because there is not a central mapping system in place that creates a map of each building interior. More than that, to determine your placement in a building, indoor beacons must be installed in the building that can track the location of your phone and movement through the building. This means that each building owner will need to pursue indoor mapping independently.
This technology is becoming more popular, and some venues have already implemented it. If you are preparing to visit a large venue, you may conduct Internet research to learn about indoor mapping available in that location. Many venues that offer this service also have details about it posted in the lobby or other common area. While it may take a while for this technology to become commonplace, it nonetheless has the ability to greatly improve indoor navigation around the world.