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Showing posts from January, 2013

Indoor Location, GeoFencing and Retail (Updated w/ video)

We've written a lot about indoor location technology, which is bringing location services indoors where GPS doesn't work. And we've written more recently about GeoFencing, a new location technology that enables smartphones to display content or take other actions when entering a specified area. And a few weeks ago we wrote about a company that was bringing the two together.

Now Aisle411 has entered the ring, adding GeoFencing to their indoor solution. And they're bringing GeoFencing to life in the retail store industry.
Aisle411's solution lets you navigate your way around a store to find specific products on the shelves. You can even enter your whole shopping list, or the items you need for a recipe, and the app will guide you around the store to buy everything you need quickly.  
And here's where the GeoFencing comes in:  As you near certain products, you'll get offers for related products on your smartphone screen. They might be as simple as a sale on Co…

Indoor location in the retail industry

Here's an excerpt from a great article in Retail Customer Experience, looking at Meridian's indoor location solution and what it means for the retail industry in particular:

According to mobile strategist and analyst Bruce Krulwich of Grizzly Analytics, the tracking feature of Meridian's system is the key benefit to retailers.  "What they [Meridian] give more than any others is that all of the information about where people are moving is stored in the cloud," Krulwich said. "For retailers to know the dwell time as people walk around the store, this is data that retailers find attractive. It helps retailers know how many people are standing around thinking about what to buy." ... The article also discussed the balance between mass-market systems like Google Indoor Maps and dedicated systems built on technology from start-up companies in the space:
 "I think that within 2-to-3 years we will see indoor mapping and location services as big as outdoor i…

More on WiFiSLAM standalone sensor fusion

A few weeks ago we wrote (here) about WiFiSLAM's demonstration of standalone sensor fusion (motion sensing) technology, running without any other methods assisting it. At the time we explained a few questions we had regarding their technology, particularly how they achieved their strong performance, while most others have needed to integrate sensor fusion with other technologies.

Since then, WiFiSLAM has answered some of our questions on their blog (here) - here is an excerpt from their article:

The demo video includes no maps constraints. It is purely accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.We are able to get better-than-typical accuracy because we are taking non-traditional pattern-matching approaches to sensor fusion rather than the conventional “double-integration + Kalman filter” techniques used traditionally.We held the phone in front of us, trying to mimic a typical smartphone user who is following a map and walking while looking at their phone. Nothing super-specific.

See th…

How can Apple truly leverage Waze?

Rumors broke today that Apple is rumored to be acquiring Waze. The latest rumors have Apple's offer at $500 Million ($400 Million cash and $100 Million incentives), with Waze rumored holding out for $750 Million.

Of course, these aren't the first rumors of Waze acquisition talks.  Last August it was Facebook that was the rumored suitor, which did come to fruition as increased integration of Facebook into Waze's app.  The consensus is that Apple needs Waze to beef up its Apple Maps product, and by acquiring Waze Apple will strengthen its position vis-a-vis Google. But it's all still rumors.

We've already compared Waze to Google Maps, and Waze definitely has advantages, especially its crowd-sourced traffic data.  If Apple can improve the usability a bit, the results should be amazing.

But the question still remains: How would Apple benefit from owning Waze?  Is there more to it than a strong product on iPhone that it could deny to Android and Windows Phone devices?