Ever wondered where you were inside a mall and wanted to get to a store quickly but couldn’t find the nearest information map? How about being inside a museum and wanting to know more about a particular display but aren’t satisfied with the information placard? Now with the advancement of technology indoor positioning service Wifarer is able to download the inside of a building blueprints, find your location and give you directions to your destination and more information about the location you are at.
For example the Royal BC museum in Victoria, Canada is working with Wifarer to not only map its floor plan but also provide a location-based guide for its exhibits. Meaning to say, if you want more information about a painting all you need to do is look at your smart phone and get all the detail you need.
This is where Wifarer is different from the competition; once a base map is produced the building owner can start adding to the map to correspond with the physical space. These objects can be populated with information and can then be accessed directly from the map. Wifarer is using virtual information to correspond with a physical space.
Wifarer, based in Vancouver, has developed their own fingerprinting technology that determines a phone’s exact location within 3 meters. With WiFi accessibility the technology is able to pinpoint down to half a meter.
So, in the case of the BC museum, when you move from display to display, Wifarer can track your movements and provide you with additional information on the particular exhibit. They are also including an icon on the map so that users can determine if they want to venture into that direction or not.
Another way Wifarer is different from its competition is that instead of building maps and then selling advertisement, Wifarer allows the partners to build their own revenue model and control how the maps are utilized. As such, if you want to put coupons for your store, you can do that.
Wifarer is still in BETA testing among different companies such as The Bay Center shopping mall in Victoria and the Vancouver International Airport. Soon it will expand to the U.S.
The “inside” is the last frontier of location-based services. I think this will really improve how we find things. What are your thoughts of this new software for your mobile phone? Will you be one of the first Canadians to use it inside the Vancouver airport or BC museum?