Most large buildings have indoor map billboards or provide visitors with a site map of the building to help them navigate to the place they want to visit. Even then, that’s not user-friendly, so organisations started establishing an indoor navigation system.

Since the invention of PCs, human lives have been changing every day. It might feel absurd if you think of a day without digital mediums. Technology and gadgets have made our everyday life easier. A mobile phone controls almost everything in our day-to-day life, from tracking time, ordering food, and shopping to managing schedules and banking. One such important task in life that was made simple with technology is navigation.

When GPS was invented, navigation changed tremendously. It has changed the way how everything travels and moves around. After that, when GPS navigation/map was integrated with mobile phones, its use cases grew rapidly. Mobile navigation always provides accurate information, such as finding the shortest route, nearby restaurants, etc.

After the integration of Augmented Reality into digital maps, navigation got simplified. While GPS helps you find certain location outdoors, AR helps with indoor navigation. As we come across huge buildings like government offices, banks, shopping malls, parks, warehouses, hospitals, corporate offices, airports, manufacturing houses etc., indoor navigation has become a significant need. Thus, AR became the best technological solution to provide accurate indoor directions.

In recent times, DMG has had many clients who wanted to leverage extended reality to provide an enriched user experience to their audience/users. We have had mid-level to large companies who were keen to explore indoor navigation and believed it to be a potential tool to interact with users, collect data and analyse them.

So AR indoor navigation is not all about wayfinding; it can be a wholesome business growth tool! This article will take you through what exactly is AR-based indoor mapping, how it works and how businesses can leverage them.

Indoor mapping uses various technologies that help users visualise indoor spaces, objects, or persons and navigate users to reach them. Indoor navigation can be a simple 2D floor map or complete computer-generated 3D simulations that recreate the real-world indoor spaces. In most cases, it can be accessed with a web browser or apps.

Indoor mapping is mainly used in places where:

  • There are massive amounts of people and objects (shopping malls, airports and warehouses)
  • Organisations that have many buildings interconnected within a single campus (hospitals, universities and government organisations)
  • Large buildings (corporate offices, banks and production/manufacturing units) which is difficult for people to navigate and move around easily.

Here, in the video, you can see a grocery store enabled with an AR indoor navigation system that uses visual markers and navigate the shoppers to whichever product or grocery section the shopper has indicated. Instead of going rounds in search of products, shoppers will quickly identify the items needed to be purchased. It also saves customers time and gives them an impressive AR experience.

Most of our customers who don’t have a direct relationship or communication with the customers come with a notion that they can’t leverage AR indoor navigation in their businesses. You can integrate an indoor navigation system and give your employees an immersive experience. You can add the calendar, schedules, games, friend finder and a scoreboard to your navigation app. This will help you analyse the working style of your employees too.

Suppose you are also doubtful about how your business can leverage AR indoor navigation for its growth. In that case, we can guide you to figure it out and implement an integrated AR indoor navigation solution.

Get in Touch with Us

How Does AR-Based Indoor Navigation Work?

AR-based indoor navigation uses AR technology and provides directions on the screen overlaid on the top of the real environments that can be seen through the device’s camera, like smartphones.

There are two significant parts to AR-based indoor navigation – one being the actual navigation and localisation and the next being the AR directions such as arrows, markers, text and other symbols on the screen.

AR based Indoor Navigation

AR-based indoor navigation guides users to navigate easily through complex buildings without using physical 2D maps or help desks. Thus, AR-based indoor navigation helps businesses provide their users with an immersive user experience.

What is the cost associated with NFT minting?

There are various types of technologies available for indoor navigation. Some of the common ones used by the business organisations are:

1. Beacon-based indoor navigation

Beacons are battery-powered Bluetooth low energy (BLE) or traditional WPS sensors that determine the users’ locations. These sensors are installed at multiple access points that help to locate the user’s locations. These are expensive to set up and maintain.

2. Built-in mobile sensors

Built-in mobile sensors provide the users with an estimated value to move from one place to another by evaluating the electromagnetic fields in the area around them. But there are high chances of external factors creating a disturbance in the magnetic fields and changing them over time. So it is mandatory to have a regular check on the magnetic map of the building.

3. AR Cloud with the visual world

AR cloud with visual world-saving is a navigation solution, a service provided by Google that allows adding virtual objects to an AR scene. Then, users present in the same shared physical space at various positions can simultaneously view and interact with those objects. The ‘world’ here means the images that are taken from the camera view, and the position of the locations around which the world is anchored is saved to the cloud.

4. AR Markers

AR Markers are the visual markers which have been created throughout the building. Users can use their camera to scan the markers that are recognised by AR software development kits (SDKs) to detect their position, and the data for the surrounding area can be accessed. Among the four types of indoor navigation mentioned here, these are the most accurate wayfinding solution and are also greatly cost-efficient for the business.

When a client comes in with a request to build an indoor navigation system, the DMG team will first study and analyse the building that needs the navigation system. After that, seeing the size of the building and the number of people/objects it encounters every day, we will suggest the technology that can be the best solution for the client’s requirements.

Once the technology is approved, we will work on the navigation and localisation. The next step will be defining the images, texts, markers and other symbols used for AR directions. We will start building the personalised indoor navigation app when both are ready.

Get in Touch with Us

The Dubai Mall, one of the biggest malls in the world, with an annual number of visitors of 80 million people, have an indoor navigation system that can navigate the visitors throughout the 12.1 million square foot complex. The Dubai mall’s indoor navigation system can be accessed through its official app. It navigates visitors to all the major shopping and entertainment destinations and provides information on retail offers and friend finder features.

Why is AR so useful for Indoor Mapping solutions?

1. GPS doesn’t solve the problem

GPS is the only best outdoor navigation solution we have till today. But when it comes to indoor navigation, it falls short. It is because GPS satellites don’t transmit strong signals that can enter buildings. And they can never provide 100% accurate indoor directions and positions.

2. WPS is expensive and inefficient

Wi-Fi positioning systems are similar to the earlier Bluetooth beacons discussed in this article. As beacons need to be installed at multiple positions, it becomes costly. And these devices are found to have a working range of 10 to 100 meters, making their accuracy inefficient.

3. AI Navigations are accurate

AR markers and AR cloud with visual worlds give an accuracy range within millimeters, making them the best indoor navigation solution.

4. Best user experience and customer engagement

Digital mapping and AR-based indoor navigation provide the users with a step-by-step immersive navigation experience that ultimately allows them to engage with every other object or person in their location. For example, if a shopping mall has an indoor navigation system, it can allow its users to check out all the shops and offers they provide why they are moving towards their location. This experience will help businesses in gaining customer satisfaction.

5. Saves time for the users

When a user needs to spend a lot of time locating a space inside a building, it might frustrate them. They can’t keep looking for help desks or navigation billboards inside the building to reach their destination. AR indoor navigation is the most user-friendly and handy solution for navigation inside buildings.

Choosing the perfect indoor navigation system is highly dependent on your consultant, who is building the system for you. When DMG takes a client on board for making indoor navigation, our primary aim would be to deliver the best solution that will give a significant user experience cost-effectively. So when you choose your partner to build the indoor navigation system, be sure what technology they used earlier to build the navigation systems and check on its accuracy and cost-efficiency.

Wrapping up

So among the discussed Indoor navigation technology, AR-based ones are the most accurate, cost-effective and user-friendly navigation solutions.

Depending on the requirements, we at DMG are responsible for finding the most suitable technology and solution to make indoor navigation convenient and easy. AR navigation systems is a plausible solution since it is user-friendly, easy to integrate & understand, versatile and cost-efficient. Setting up and implementing them is also a fast and easy process.

What to know more or are you are thinking of building your own indoor navigation system, we are here to guide you throughout, from brainstorming your requirements to building a wholesome solution. Do fill out the form below and let us get back to you.

Contact Experts by Email

Email Us

Your Contact

Till Neitzke