CMU SV Practicum Team Partners with Google to Prototype Indoor Navigation System
On a daily basis, individuals need to navigate their way around bigger and ever more complex buildings and campuses. GPS, the leading technology in navigation, does not function in indoor environments. The location-based services market is growing at a very fast pace. Some predict that location-based services will grow to as much as $8 billion by 2011. One relatively untapped area of this market is indoor location and navigation on mobile devices. Some potential opportunities are: navigation or finding people inside malls, campuses, museums and airports.
Developed by a Software Engineering Practicum Team working with Google, The Personal Indoor Navigator (PIN) is a new application that utilizes a building's current Wi-Fi infrastructure with deployed Bluetooth beacons to achieve indoor positioning with room level accuracy for indoor navigation. PIN further aids indoor navigation by including a map that displays personalized routes through a building.
The PIN project vision was to build an indoor navigator similar to the automotive navigation systems that have revolutionized outdoor travel. During the first phase of the PIN project, the team investigated some existing solutions. The main purpose of the investigation was to determine the feasibility of the Personal Indoor Navigator as well as to evaluate how existing solutions addressed some of the challenges in this area. Skyhook Wireless, Micello, Point Inside, and PlaceLab were four commercial providers that were investigated. Their technologies addressed elements of the indoor location and navigation problem, but none offered a comprehensive solution.
The Software Engineering Practicum course makes up the core of a Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley's Software Engineering (SE) Practicum course. (This capstone course in the SE Masters curriculum provides a framework that allows students to apply their acquired skills and knowledge to a real world problem proposed by a client, preferably from outside the university.)
The R2 Google Team created a video that demonstrates the their system. View the video on the CMU Silicon Valley YouTube channel.