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London’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation
Sophisticated indoor environments such as airports and shopping centers generally is a bad dream to find your way around. And even though Google is eyeing smartphones with 3D sensors as one prospective fix for places GPS won’t precisely reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with a lot of Bluetooth beacons – giving smart phone users located-locked pings to fix onto to recognise exactly where they’re.
The UK’s second busiest air-port, Gatwick airport, has opted for the 2nd way to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as an element of a broader, multi-year transformation program.
It’s finally finished kitting out its two terminals with about 2,000 battery-powered beacons to ensure that digital map users will get a more precise blue dot as they walk around. The beacon system will likewise be used to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – to ensure that mobile users will be able to be guided to a particular locations inside the terminals through on-screen arrows. The beacon system is scheduled as supporting positioning with +/-3m precision.
Gatwick is intending to integrate indoor positioning into some of its apps, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to make use of it for their own apps and services – giving example of them the ability to send push notifications to advise individuals if they’re running late, or even consider if they should wait or offload luggage so a plane can take off on time.
Retailers and other third parties will likewise be able to utilize the system for proximity detection of potential consumers and delivery promotion messages – as a minimum to those who have opted in to receive them.
Gatwick says it will not be gathering any private information through the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be utilized to help to improve airport operations – just like queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and lessening over-crowding.
The airport has worked with UK start-up Pointr on the system. And also developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr offers an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding to enable third parties to access the functionality.