Indoor GPS to become reality in 2012

Ever been in a shopping centre and wondered where a certain shop is? Thought so, well one company is trying to solve that problem by creating indoor GPS thanks to some clever software, some new hardware, and existing hardware in your phone already.

Called SIRF Walk, the indoor positioning system uses a phone's accelerometer, gyroscope and even barometer to work out your movements once you’ve stepped out of satellite view and into a building.

The idea is that if navigation companies like TomTom, CoPilot, or Google stored building schematics then the technology would be able to tell you’re on the fourth floor of a building; based on how many steps you took inside the building, thanks to the accelerometer; and then how high you are, based on information from the barometer.

“The idea is that you’ll be able to navigate inside,” Raj Gawera, VP Marketing for CSR, the company behind the technology, explained to Pocket-lint in a briefing at Mobile World Congress.

Those thinking that they'll be able to easily trick the system or that it will get confused by moving around in your bag or your pocket should stop says the company “We can work out context,” Gawera told us "There is some really smart processing going on to combat the phone's movements."

While the technology is ready now, well apart from a few refinements, the big hold up is likely to be the inside mapping data, something Gawera doesn't think will be a problem as companies are already "landrushing" to get our world's inside space charted.

The new technology is expected to go to manufacturers by the end of the year, which theoretically means we could see this technology in commercial products for 2012.

Which handsets? CSR wouldn’t confirm, however it did let us know that it is working with Nokia, Samsung, LG, and BlackBerry.  



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