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Showing posts from October, 2012

Indoor navigation comes to iPhone in France

Most indoor location positioning systems rely on Wi-Fi signals - they look at the set of Wi-Fi hotspots that are in range of the phone, and how strong the signals are for each one, and use a database of hotspot locations or a collection of "signal strength fingerprints" to estimate the phone's current location.  This is how must indoor location systems on the market work, including Google's.

But here's the rub: iPhone's iOS doesn't let apps have the Wi-Fi signal strength data.  Many people have speculated why, and I suspect the reason is that they want to keep indoor positioning all to themselves. It's unfortunate, because Apple of all people should know that they win a lot by supporting 3rd-party developers on iOS. But that's how it is.
Two weeks ago we reported the first deployment of a new approach to indoor location, by SenionLab, using sensors in the phone (gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, ...) to detect phone movements and track location s…

Sensor-fusion indoor location system in over 30 malls in Singapore

SingTel just deployed indoor mapping and navigation from Swedish start-up SenionLab in over 30 shopping malls in Singapore, with 20 more in planning, in the biggest single deployment we've seen yet of customized indoor location technology.

The most significant aspect of this deployment is that this is one of the first commercial deployments of indoor location technology that uses a new technology approach called "sensor fusion," which uses sensors in smartphones (gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, ...) to track location by sensing the phone's movements.

Most indoor location systems determine location by measuring the signals of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots or cellular antennas, but this risks looking choppy as the phone waits for the radio signals to change to detect the next place it is. Sensing motion using phone sensors makes the system work more smoothly, regardless of radio signal details.  (The SenionLab solution does use Wi-Fi signals as well, to compensate for sens…

Cisco starts off acquisitions of indoor location start-ups

Cisco has just acquired Ireland-based Thinksmart Technologies, creators of location analytics technology that will complement Cisco's Wi-Fi network services and solutions.  This is the first acquisition in the huge and growing area of indoor location technologies.

Grizzly Analytics reports have analyzed research in indoor location technology from all the major mobile companies and over 30 start-up companies.  We believe strongly that more acquisitions in this area are coming soon.

Some of these start-ups have network-level technology that will be of interest to Cisco's competitors, such as Aruba, Meraki, and others. These start-ups include Meridian, Navizon and soon others that have this type of technology in ongoing development.

Other start-ups have motion sensing technology (a.k.a. sensor fusion) that will be of interest to phone makers and OS makers like Google, Apple and Microsoft, as well as chip makers such as Qualcomm, CSR, TI and others. These start-ups include SenionL…

Predictions for device waterproofing

Back in March we predicted that Apple might acquire waterproofing-technology start-ups P2i or HzO. We saw great waterproofing technology at MWC 2012 from these and other companies, and based on our research, we found these two to the be the ones likely to be acquired.

Now, just over six months later, we think M&A in this area is getting close. The most likely buyers include Apple (despite the iPhone5 having been released without the rumored waterproofing) and Samsung, and other potential buyers include Sony Ericsson, RIM and LG.  Motorola is already selling "splash-proof" phones, based on P2i's technology, and Fujitsu is also selling phones with fully-submergable waterproofing technology of their own.  Obviously these technologies may be licensed and not acquired, but we think some manufacturers may want to get this technology and keep it out of competitors hands.

HzO’s WaterBlock solution uses a gas vaporization & deposition process and thin-film nanotechnology …