Britain’s Gatwick Airport now has 2,000 beacons for indoor navigation
Sophisticated indoor environments such as air-ports and department shops is usually a nightmare to find your way around. Although Google is eyeing cell phones with 3D detectors as one probable fix for places GPS won’t accurately reach, another approach is to kit out an interior with loads of Bluetooth beacons – giving handset users located-locked pings to fix onto to find out where they are.
The UK’s second busiest airport, Gatwick airport, has decided on the latter solution to power an indoor navigation system it’s launching as a section of a larger, multi-year transformation program.
It’s finally finished providing its two terminals with around 2,000 battery-powered beacons to make sure digital map users will get a more accurate blue dot as they wander around. The beacon system will likewise be employed to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool – in order that mobile users will be able to be guided to particular locations in the terminals thru on-screen arrows. The beacon system is planned as backing up positioning with +/-3m precision.
Gatwick is aiming to integrate indoor positioning into some of its mobile apps, and says it’s in discussions with airlines to tap into it for their own mobile apps and services – giving demonstration of them being able 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 promptly.
Stores and other third parties will likewise be able to utilize the system for proximity detection of potential buyers and push marketing messages – at least to those who’ve opted in to receive them.
Gatwick says it certainly won’t be accumulating any personal information with the beacons but says “generic information on ‘people densities’ in different beacon zones” will be used to help improve airport operations – just like queue measurement, streamlining passenger flows and lessening congestion.
The airport has worked with UK start-up Pointr on the system. Along with developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointr offers an SDK with support for 3D AR wayfinding to allow third parties to tap into the functionality.
In keeping with https://www.techcrunch.com/2017/05/25/gatwick-airport-now-has-2000-beacons-for-indoor-navigation/