It’s clear that accurate mapping on the go is one of the best things about this smartphone revolution, as I would literally be lost without services like Google Maps on my phone. Still, the one big hole is when you get in doors and while Google and others are trying to tackle this issue, Nokia showed me its impressive 3D in-door mapping system that could redefine our expectations.
The protocol layer is built on top of Bluetooth 4.0 in the phone or on a tag and it requires the establishment to install minimal locator equipment on the ceiling but once it’s up and running, it enables Nokia to create hyper-accurate, 3D maps inside of venues that can be accurate up to 21 centimeters. Nokia is hoping to get this technology standardized with the Bluetooth SIG, so it could potentially be in consumer products by 2013 – Nokia can push or it on its own with tags or with its own devices.
As you can see from the video below, Nokia engineers put one of these Bluetooth tags on a Parrot drone being controlled by an N9 in a room with four sensors mounted on the ceiling. Another screen shows how the helicopter is tracked in real time on all three axes.
While the helicopter demo makes for some fun videos, the practical applications for this in-door 3D mapping technology are many. For example, if a jean store is properly outfitted, you could get directions on how to drive to the store, as well as where to go within the store to pick up a specific product. The best part is that it could be a seamless experience on the phone, as it can switch between this, WiFi, GPS or aGPS depending on what’s most accurate. The gaming applications are also pretty wild too.
If it gets to be a part of the general Bluetooth standard, this could be a positive for all platforms and handset makers. Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.