Edinburgh company creating global crowd sourced database

Published on 2014年11月06日 星期四

By Invest Edinburgh

November 6 2014

 Indoor positioning company sensewhereTM is finally breaking down the barriers to global adoption of indoor advertising for mobile phone and wearables manufacturers with the launch of its free software development kit.

Needing no new infrastructure, no power drain and user location accuracy to 10 metres or less, the revolutionary technology uses existing wireless hotspots to build a crowd-sourced global location database.

sensewhere’s disruptive business model revolutionises the established commercial structure of indoor advertising by offering the 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 with retailers keen to target customers with vouchers and offers while they are in-store or nearby . But widespread take-up of this kind of marketing requires technology that is both extremely accurate, is cost effective and does not drain the battery power of the end user’s device.

The latest release of sensewhere’s software development tools answers 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 Automatic Crowd Source technology.

This has enabled 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 competitor in the category. It can also be used in offline mode and so requires very little power.

sensewhere, which is already 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. In order 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% share of revenues from them in future.


We believe our cutting edge technology coupled with a no-risk commercial model will radically change the world of indoor location.

Rob Palfreyman, CEO, sensewhere


Rob Palfreyman, CEO of sensewhere, said: “We believe our cutting edge 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.”

He continued: “Crucially, our system enables marketers to roll out indoor positioning campaigns at low cost and without the need for any hardware. 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.”

sensewhere, a spin out from the University of Edinburgh, is headquartered in the Scottish capital and also has offices in Cambridge and Silicon Valley. Derek Waddell, 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. sensewhere has continued to demonstrate that it can deliver practical solutions for an ever developing mobile communications age.”

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.

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