On Thursday December 9, 2010 in Santa Clara at Qualcomm, the WCA LBS SIG presented “LBS Goes Indoors: Maps, Apps & Positioning.” Raj Singh, Co-Founder of YumYum Labs and EIR at Storm Ventures moderated panelists Ankit Agarwal of Micello, Jeremy Aqulnek of NAVTEQ, Andrew Berschauer of Retailigence, Michael Doherty of Polaris Wireless, Kiyo Kubo of Spotlight Mobile, Tristian Lacroix of IndoorLBS, Jerry Luk of Presdo and Josh Marti of PointInside. The panel talked about the new frontiers for apps in museums, airports or convention centers.
Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors while most LBS apps are used outdoors. GPS has done a great job helping find the shopping mall but was not much help once inside. The goal is a seamless experience as users walk inside. Outdoor systems with accuracy up to five meters have to be pushed down to one meter. Getting indoor data is not easy because much of it exists in the form of architectural drawings or building plans and not organized in a consistent standard accessible by wireless devices like Google’s vectorized maps. Indoor systems also have to display in three dimensions.
Beyond the technical issues is the question of how to make money from it. Should the data be streamed online or cached locally? LBS may add the most value and make the most money when integrated into other apps. In a warehouse or retail space can you locate down to the individual SKU on a shelf? Do you tie it in with a RFID inventory system?
This raises all sorts of questions. Can a store use an app to see what a competitor has on their shelves? Where does public space end and private space begin? If a someone is given a hotel card key that tracks their movements, does it turn off when they are in their room? Will it keep track of them when they go into a room that is not theirs? Will LBS indoors generate more work for lawyers than engineers?
Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.