Indoor Location Based Services

With the continued growth of smartphones, location based services have become pretty useful.  From finding a restaurant or ATM in your present location to turn-by-turn directions based on your actual location, these capabilities have now been baked into our everyday lives.  On your iPhone or iPad, you have the option to turn these location based services on or off, and just about every app is trying to learn where you are to improve relevance, whether for news, directions, are your friends nearby etc..

With most of the great outdoors pretty well mapped, indoors is the final navigation frontier. Nokia has announced “In-Location” an alliance of 22 companies with the goal of driving and unifying industry innovation in mobile indoor positioning.  Founding members include: Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.

Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

Accurate indoor positioning opens up plenty of possibilities for new mobile services. Consumers can receive directions to the right products and personalized product promotions in nearby shops; using real-time navigation inside a building; finding the precise location of assets and people; and even increasing security in emergency situations. For facility owners and local service providers this could enable, for example, increased local customer identification; enhanced product placement; and better customer satisfaction by deploying resources when and where needed.

Brick and mortar retailers are working overtime to make sure that their businesses are not disrupted by the rapidly emerging mobile commerce phenomenon underway.  How will they continue to get people into their locations in addition to providing them with the best possible on-line shopping experience?  What is it going to take to make sure that their very image conscious brands are perceived as technology leaders in a world of Newism?

What is Newism?  One of my favorite web-sites for emerging retail trends is They are on the forefront of many of the newest and most creative ways brands are interacting with consumers and how consumers are interacting with brands.  Newism is a consumer trend whereby “New” is the thing to do.  (Who knew I was a poet?) The ‘new’ has never been hotter. For consumers, the very notion of the ‘new’ has become a positive one. Given the obsession for new technology – see the upcoming releases of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, we have become highly conditioned to expect new.  New products can be tried easily with little if any risk. New means interesting, new means cool, new means (more) experiences, new means first, new means “I am awesome.”

So how cool will indoor location based services be?  How will this impact retailers and consumers? Time will tell.


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