Indoor GPS

Credit: Bhakti Dharma on Flickr
Credit: Bhakti Dharma on Flickr

One of the trends that we’ll be seeing in the next few months is IPS – “Indoor Positioning Systems”. At Endava we’ve been producing apps that show how our customers could use IPS, commonly known as indoor GPS for a while now.

There are a number of vendors who are promoting IPS and together they’ll be creating the buzz around any opportunities. And the natural opportunity is probably going to be for consumers in shopping centres/ malls to find shops, and probably receive offers for other shops.

I don’t think IPS will create the same level of impact that outdoor GPS has done so far because in an outdoor environment, we want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. GPS helps us do this, and modern devices take traffic reports and create a quicker route even if it’s not the shortest.

However in the indoor world, shopping centres have been designed so that customers park in one area and walk past many shops to get to their destination. That’s why shopping centres have large central areas fenced off – to get us to walk close to the shops on the outside perimeter, rather than walking across the open area to where we want to get to.

Also, outdoor GPS took an existing problem – navigation – and made it more efficient by modernising from paper maps to GPS and now mobile devices. IPS is trying to solve what is no more than a minor frustration rather than a key problem.

IPS does have a part to play in innovative new applications, but as a standalone on its own, it’s simply solving a problem that isn’t there.

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