Monday, June 13, 2016
GPS has become one of our best friends when it comes to finding where we are, but sadly it becomes completely useless when you're indoors. Now, Portuguese researchers from FEUP have devised a Audio GPS that can solve that problem.
While GPS is more than useful to help us navigate the world, things aren't quite so simple when it comes to navigation indoors. This O Audio GPS system was created by João Moutinho, Diamantino Freitas and Rui Araújo, from FEUP, and it promises to pinpoint user's locations indoors without the need for any extra equipment.
Though there has been a strong push for bluetooth beacons as a way to provide indoor location, this solution may be more attractive for large commercial areas as it uses the hardware already in place: it's audio speaker system. The Audio GPS embeds inaudible audio signals that can be picked up by any smartphone microphone, allowing it to quickly compute its location. So, there's no need to worry about bluetooth compatibility nor any other complex technologies.
This idea won the first prize at iUP25k - a business ideas contest from Porto University - and we may soon see it in action in commercial spaces around Portugal (and the world?) wherever such spaces want to provide a cheap and easy to use indoor location system.