What is Indoor Navigation? – Part 1


What is Indoor AR Navigation?

Indoor AR Navigation is used in applications to allow users to easily select where they want to go to in an indoor space – such as in a mall and in an office – and be able to see the path clearly marked out from their current to their desired location. Augmented Reality includes the user’s surroundings and allows the navigation to be displayed in context with the environment.

How does Indoor AR Navigation work?

Up-to-date mobile phones are capable of running the latest Augmented Reality frameworks; ARCore and ARKit which are specifically for Android and iOS. These mobile phones are AR compatible because they have various sensors that allow for motion tracking. The accelerometer in the phone measures the change of velocity (acceleration) of the phone to help track the user’s movement. The gyroscope measures the orientation and angular velocity of the phone and its camera. The camera itself supplies live feed information to the AR software to be processed in order to produce spatial maps of the surroundings.

For accurate tracking of the user’s orientation, modern mobile phones have a magnetometer. This informs the application of the phone’s orientation in relation to the earth’s magnetic field. This helps determine which way the phone is facing so that the application can provide appropriate directions. Mobile phones also have built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) which provides geolocation services.

Why is Indoor Navigation not as straightforward as Outdoor Navigation?
GPS does not work indoors. This is because the satellite signals are too weak to penetrate walls and roofs. This means that indoor navigation needs to rely on the use of mobile sensors and other external sensors in order to receive accurate location services.

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