While GPS has become a dominant positioning system in different fields, its application in indoor navigation has been challenged by some factors. For instance, the satellite signals are obstructed by buildings making it impossible to get a clear view of the internal building structures. To solve this problem, experts have come up with indoor GPS solutions, which have changed the face of indoor navigation in unimaginable ways.
1. Modern Solutions Use Light or Magnetic Field to Identify Location
One of the most widely used indoor navigation system today is the indoor positioning system (IPS). It uses light, magnetic fields, and radio waves to locate objects inside a building. The light IPS has LED light fixtures which emit a particular spectral signature that bears the location of an object. The receiver, usually a phone’s camera, reads the light signature and transmits it to a server. It is then compared to a predefined one on a map within the server to find the appropriate interpretation.
The magnetic IPS can survey buildings by reading the different magnetic fingerprints of the structure. The variation of the fields in different parts of a building allows the system to map the entire structure.
2. Indoor GPS Navigation Requires Indoor Mapping
Indoor maps make it easy to navigate different sites efficiently. Without them, GPS for indoors application such as IPS is meaningless. Some industries venture in the production of maps and navigation data for major buildings such as malls. They outsource maps from different proprietors to add more resources to their indoor map inventory. Today, you can use your mobile phone to locate a person or device indoors. This is made possible by user-friendly apps that are integrated with comprehensive indoor navigation maps.
3. Indoor GPS Tracking Helps Business Operators Track Inventory
Conventional GPS systems can only monitor the location of inventory in a warehouse upon their arrival. So when a box or pallet is moved to a different location or stolen, it would be difficult to know. Today, however, there are indoor GPS tracking tools (such as IPS)that accurately locates the inventory inside the warehouse. The data obtained from the system can also be used in the management of the store. For example, it can be used in automation processes involving restocking and invoicing.
4. Indoor Positioning is Becoming More Autonomous by the Day
It is rather difficult to rely on the traditional GPS to navigate areas with natural or built obstructions. However, with the evolution of autonomous indoor positioning systems, this problem is relatively well solved. Such systems have found wide application particularly in the military, Special Forces, and firefighting. Indoor navigation for the military has helped the soldiers navigate underground routes and hideouts that would otherwise be impossible with the conventional GPS. The automatic 3D positioning and navigation of individual soldiers can now be geo-referenced on a map to provide a situational awareness in the command station.