Of all the exciting new technologies and applications the explosion of sensors and network-connected things has brought to us, one of the most intriguing has to be indoor locationing – detecting and tracking mobile devices and assets in buildings based on their wireless signals for purposes ranging from asset tracking and security to visitor wayfinding and targeted marketing.
The concept of indoor locationing, and the possibilities it presented, started getting serious attention in 2009 and 2010 after new smartphone sales overtook those of ‘feature phones.’ With the Internet and consumerized location apps like Google Maps and Foursquare in the pocket of a growing percentage of the population, it didn’t take long for entrepreneurs and marketers to realize the value of bringing GPS-like locationing capabilities indoors.
Early approaches to indoor locationing, however, had limited success. Poor device detection, high maintenance costs, inaccurate locationing and low user acceptance all hampered their adoption. More recently, newer technologies introduced better locationing and statistical models to fill in the information gaps left by earlier systems, but the dream of delivering the perfectly tailored marketing offer at the perfect place to the perfect person still remains far from reality.
As with many technologies, while the use originally imagined may not be coming to fruition right now, indoor locationing is making surprising inroads in a completely different […]