Published on Tuesday November 4th, 2014
By Gail Purvis at Compute Scotland
In March this year, Polestar in Europe offered its cloud-based indoor locations for iPhone and Android, for proximity marketing with beacons. Apple acquired WiFiSLAM that uses WiFi and GPS to increase indoor location accuracy. But Edinburgh headquartered, sensewhere was silent. No longer, it is now offering accuracy to 10 metres or less, which it feels no competitor can match and offers a software development kit free to mobile platform providers.
sensewhere’s disruptive business model offers a software development kit free to mobile platform providers and handset manufacturers in addition to the ability to earn revenue from its crowd-sourced location databases. The technology has already been successfully piloted in Seoul, San Francisco and Rio, from which the database will spread exponentially around the globe.
With more and more people using smartphones and wearable tech devices, the potential for location based mobile advertising is enormous, particularly when retailers keen to target customers with vouchers and offers while they are in-store or nearby. But widespread up- take of this kind of marketing requires technology that is both extremely accurate, icost effective and does not drain the battery power of the end user’s device.
The latest release of sensewhere’s software development tools meets all three concerns. Unlike many indoor positioning systems, which rely on the installation of expensive hardware and beacons in locations like shopping malls and surveys of the premises, sensewhere’s location databases are built at very low cost using its patented ACS (Automatic Crowd Source) technology.
This enables the company to offer location accuracy to less than 10 metres, with extensive trials reporting at least 100 per cent better accuracy against the best in category competitor. It can also be used in offline mode and so requires very little power.
sensewhere, active in Brazil, Korea and the West Coast of the United States, plans to create ten new regional location databases, including China, Europe and Australasia. To accelerate the population of its new databases, sensewhere is offering mobile device manufactures and significant platform providers the chance to earn up to a 25 per cent share of revenues from them in future.
sensewhere,CEO (left) Rob Palfreyman said: “We believe our technology coupled with a no-risk commercial model will radically change the world of indoor location. While other positioning companies measure themselves by number of venues covered, customers equipping their devices with sensewhere can benefit from global venue coverage in a very short period of time with zero cost to build the database.”
“Crucially, our system enables marketers to roll out indoor positioning campaigns at low cost and without the need for any hardware,” he continues. “The potential for indoor positioning and proximity marketing is huge if even a fraction of overall retail sales are attributed to the information the technology gives to retailers, so we are confident that there will be significant interest in our regional, crowd-sourced databases.”
The University of Edinburgh spinout, is headquartered in the Scottish capital with offices in Cambridgeand Silicon Valley. Derek Waddell, (right) CEO of Edinburgh Research and Innovation, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation arm, said: “We are delighted to see this important University spin-out company develop their innovative technology to meet the challenge of a global market for indoor positioning software.”
While GPS is the most well known positioning technology, it has serious limitations inside buildings and in very built-up areas. Indoor positioning technology tackles these problems by using a database of electromagnetic sources, such as wifi access points and Bluetooth signals, to triangulate a user’s location.
Anyone who wants to play with Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare including room-by-room automatic check-ins and viewing friends’ updates in their geographical context might like to download SNAP App that blends sensewhere’s world-leading indoor location technology with social mapping.
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