London’s Gatwick Airport presently has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation
Sophisticated indoor environments like air-ports and shopping centers generally is a problem to find your way around. Even though Google is seeking cell phones with 3D sensors as one possible solution for places GPS won’t correctly reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with a whole lot of Bluetooth beacons – giving phone users located-locked pings to fix onto to recognise exactly where they’re.
The UK’s second busiest airport, Gatwick, has chosen the latter method to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as an element of a larger, multi-year transformation program.
It’s presently completed kitting out its two terminals with close to 2 Thousand battery-powered beacons in order that digital map users will get a more accurate blue dot as they walk around. The beacon system will likewise be employed to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – so 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 looking 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 instance of them having the capability to send push notifications to advise individuals if they’re running late, or even consider if they should wait or offload luggage so an aircraft can take off promptly.
Merchants and other third parties will likewise be able to use the system for proximity detection of potential purchasers and push promoting messages – at a minimum to those who’ve opted in to receive them.
Gatwick says it won’t be gathering any private data using the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be utilized to assist in improving airport operations – similar to queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and lessening blockage.
The airport has worked with UK startup company Pointr on the system. In addition to developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr provides an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding to enable third parties to get into functionality.