Location Goes Indoors

Finding someone on a smart phone is a no brainer. Trying to find someone who has gone indoors with a smartphone is a challenge because they need a direction connection to the GPS satellite. For indoor retailers wanting to tap into the location-based marketing revolution, this is a problem. Looks like a company in the UK may have found a potential solution. Using a smartphone rigged with a new CSR chip and software, the company recently demonstrated its SiRFstarV and SiRFusion indoor location technologies at a recent conference in San Francisco. To some degree, CSR still relies on GPS to determine your position. But it also gathers real-time information from other satellite systems (Galileo, Glonass and Compass) and combines that data with info pulled from Wi-Fi and cellular radios, along with multiple sensors such as accelerometers, gyros and compasses. It all gets fused together with mapping and other data, to help figure out your precise whereabouts.

Nokia is already in the midst of developing this technology on its mobile phones. There's a huge opportunity for companies that want to create inside mapping databases (hint, hint...Google). Who else is going to take location indoors?