Create immersive digital experiences with real-time indoor positioning in your venue
Indoor positioning is a flourishing market, with numerous recognized providers now offering solutions and systems with which to achieve indoor localization. However, not all providers are able to deliver precision accuracy, a range of complementary solutions such as maps and an ever-increasing list of features, such as indoor-to-outdoor transitions for users moving between buildings. This is the Pointr difference.
What sets Pointr apart from the rest is our Deep Location® technology. Whereas many indoor positioning systems rely upon a single touchpoint or an outdated or unreliable technique, such as a phone’s compass, fingerprinting or geomagnetic positioning, Deep Location® leverages sensor fusion techniques and machine-learning algorithms in order to deliver accuracy to within one meter. In indoor locations, where effective positioning and navigation are utterly dependent upon precise accuracy, Pointr leads the way.
Alongside accuracy, Pointr's positioning solution is, crucially, highly scalable. This means that for companies seeking a small proof of concept deployment before expanding to a larger building, or those looking to branch out from one store to thousands, Pointr is able to rise to the task. Twinned with our indoor mapping product, MapScale®, we're able to expand our indoor positioning quickly, with minimal hardware costs and installation, and in a future-proof manner that many competing technologies, such as fingerprinting, simply cannot match.
Pointr's indoor positioning solution leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE technology) to provide a blue dot experience that is accurate, requires minimal set up from users, and, crucially, is scalable and future-proofed.
There are numerous ways in which indoor positioning can be achieved, with varying degrees of success. However, after years of working with Fortune 100 clients and continuously adapting and improving our Deep Location® and MapScale® products, we have found that BLE-based systems enable us to deliver outstanding performance and accuracy to our clients twinned with almost limitless scalability and robust security.
Other techniques - such as fingerprinting, WiFi or 5G based systems - all have benefits, but these are mitigated by major drawbacks in other areas, such as their cost, their lack of accuracy, their complexity or their inability to scale and adapt to an ever-changing indoor environment.
Of course, BLE isn't perfect. However, the combination of BLE, the years of iterative technological development that has led to Pointr's Deep Location®, and our highly experienced and capable hardware and software teams has led to Pointr being recognized as the market leading solution for indoor blue dot.
Indoor positioning has countless benefits for an enormous range of businesses. By unlocking an indoor Google Maps style solution, companies can instantly improve the experiences of their customers, access data insights and vastly improve efficiency.
With an accurate and robust indoor positioning solution in place, businesses can then leverage that for a number of additional services, including indoor navigation, data analytics, geofencing and more.
Hospitals may wish to help guide patients through large facilities quickly and efficiently. Workplaces can leverage indoor positioning for everything from hot desking and meeting room allocation to security. Warehouses and factories can locate key assets and machinery quickly. Airports can alert visitors to gate changes for their flight and guide them to where they need to be. All of the above can examine overall trends and highlight areas of their venue that are under-utilized, underperforming or causing previously unseen issues.
In short, an indoor positioning system offers businesses of all kinds almost limitless possibilities, capable of improving the experiences of guests, customers and employees while also enabling valuable business insights. It’s no wonder that indoor positioning is being implemented by major companies across the globe.
Deep Location® is capable of achieving <3 meter indoor location accuracy by leveraging existing infrastructure or cost-effective Bluetooth™ beacons.
Pointr Deep Location® utilizes the user’s smartphone to process the indoor position, which ensures excellent accuracy irrespective of the number of active users in a venue.
Pointr provides an easy deployment, can utilize existing infrastructure or use cost-effective hardware keeping cost of ownership low.
Pointr’s technology automatically detects when a user enters or leaves a building or changes floors, and seamlessly switches over to the relevant map.
When a user enters a building, their device is ready and their journey continues indoors even without a mobile network, a critical feature that many other vendors fail to account for.
There are numerous different ways in which different companies are attempting to solve the indoor positioning riddle, but the majority of the leading solutions nowadays use a number of sensors in order to create a digital twin, or map, of an indoor space. When a user device, most often a smartphone, moves through this space, then the relative signal strength from a number of the sensors can be used to triangulate the device’s location.
Of course, this is only the most basic setup, and accounting for more advanced considerations - such as the user’s orientation - requires far more sophisticated calculations and technological solutions. Pointr’s Deep Location® technology has multiple patents powering its state of the art, high precision engine, and is the result of years of work producing systems for some of the world’s biggest companies.
Outdoor positioning technologies such as Google Maps now work so well and are so ubiquitous that we often take them for granted. With this in mind, it’s natural to ask why an indoor positioning system is necessary or important for modern locations.
The answer is that the technology that powers the vast majority of outdoor mapping and blue dot systems - GPS - is unable to work effectively in most indoor environments. The technical reasons for this are outlined in this post, but the upshot is that indoor positioning technology is important because GPS is unable to serve the growing needs and expectations of users when they move indoors, and therefore different systems are required.
A number of technologies have been used in indoor positioning deployments. The most popular options for indoor blue dot systems are Bluetooth (specifically Bluetooth Low Energy, a low powered version of Bluetooth that saves battery by restricting the amount of data that can be transferred), 5G, ultra wideband and Wi-Fi (using access points).
Using the above links, you’ll be able to read in greater detail about the benefits and drawbacks of each of the aforementioned technologies in relation to indoor positioning.
At Pointr, while we do support other technologies where necessary, we have focused on a BLE-powered solution for most indoor positioning deployments. Bluetooth has a number of key advantages that set it apart from other competing technologies, including:
The efficacy of an indoor positioning system is highly dependent on a number of factors, including the ceiling height (assuming that’s where beacons are located), the number of obstructions such as pillars or walls, and the density of beacons. With this in mind, it’s not possible to categorically state a definitive density of sensors or beacons that is able to achieve high accuracy indoor blue dot results every time.
That said, based on hundreds of different deployments Pointr have conducted for a huge number of different clients, including several Fortune 100 companies, we have found that one sensor per 800 to 1,600 sqft of indoor space is sufficient to ensure a high quality positioning experience.
At Pointr, we offer clients different packages and services depending on their needs, and are often asked about the distinction between indoor positioning and indoor navigation, or wayfinding. Put simply, indoor positioning is the technology by which we’re able to accurately pinpoint a user’s location upon a map, whereas indoor navigation is a system layered upon this foundation, which can then factor in obstructions and points of interest to allow the user to dynamically navigate to their required destination. In this scenario, indoor navigation isn’t possible without indoor positioning, though indoor positioning doesn’t necessarily need navigation layered on top.
One exception to this use case is static wayfinding. In some cases, a system may have an indoor map that is accessible via a number of fixed kiosks spread through an indoor location. Because these kiosks are unlikely to move, there is no need for dynamic indoor positioning, as once the kiosk’s position is accounted for the system will always know to begin the route from there.