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Nokia indoor location positioning research shown at MWC 2012

Grizzly Analytics has been looking closely at indoor location technology, both technology research at major companies and technology solutions available to store-owners and other site managers.  At MWC we expected that indoor location would be prominent, and we weren't disappointed! We had the pleasure of seeing a large number of demonstrations of indoor positioning in action.  This is the first of several blog posts looking at these demonstrations, starting with Nokia.

First I'll give some explanation, then below is a video showing Nokia's demo in action and hearing comments from their researchers.

Nokia has been researching indoor location technology for years, and the technology has advanced each year but not yet reached market.  Their demo is, in a word, breathtaking, in the speed and precision at which it tracks people walking around the room.  People are seen on a computer screen or phone screen, in real-time, moving as they walk around the demo room floor.

There are two catches, though.  One is that Nokia's positioning relies on Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, which is not yet approved and not yet available in phones or chips.  Their demo uses dedicated tags that the people are wearing to be tracked.  Practical deployment of their technology will wait until Bluetooth 4.0 becomes standard.

Second is that their tracking technology relies on dedicated "beacons" that are deployed on the ceiling.  These beacons enable the amazing accuracy that Nokia is able to demo, but this means that their technology will only work in places where the beacons have been deployed. We understand that deploying this indoor location technology will be done by Nokia's Navteq business unit, which is already working with malls and other site owners to map their sites.

Here's the video showing Nokia's indoor location demo in action.  For more on indoor location technology, including research by over a dozen companies and solutions by almost 20 start-up companies, see Grizzly Analytics reports on indoor location technology and indoor location services.

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