Frequently Asked Questions

General

How does it work?

We implement Bluetooth® Beacons APs at the least visible locations around the venue. Pointr SDK equips devices with Deep Location® algorithm and processes the received signals to calculate the most accurate "blue-dot" position & direction (no internet connection required). 

When combined with venue layouts or product catalogues, Pointr Deep Location® algorithm can give directions to the precise locations or products, empowering accurate indoor positioning system through ML technology. 

Pointr Cloud collects location data for real-time location-based analytics, enabling contextual notification, proximity marketing and smarter insight management via heatmaps, zonal footfall, path analytics, real-time location tracking, new vs repeat visitors and search analytics

Please view our solution & technology pages for further details.

Which devices support Pointr?

Any device equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) supports indoor positioning with Pointr. Pointr SDK supports operating systems: including iOS v8 and above, Android v5 and above. Bluetooth Low Energy can be found in most devices, device specification can be checked here.

Where can I use Pointr?

Pointr Deep Location® can be deployed in any desired venue. Pointr works with major international customers in aviation, retail, hospitality and workplace.

Our current customers include London Gatwick Airport, Washington Airports, Airports of Thailand, US Department of Homeland Security, Harrods, a major U.S. department store across 1,000 locations and one of the largest retail chains in the US.

How much does it cost?

At Pointr, we know that every business is unique so we provide tailored solutions for each and every our client. We offer a range of pricing options to best match your business, please get in touch with our team to find out more.

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How private and secure is my data?

Pointr Deep Location® collects all personal information anonymously and the data will be stored securely in the private cloud. Pointr's SDK doesn't collect any data through Apps without users' permission. Pointr’s information security is ISO 27001 and ISO 27017 certified and used by Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens, Extreme Networks, CBRE, ISS, DHS, and many others.

What is Deep Location as a Service®(DLaaS®)?

Pointr DLaaS® is an end-to-end location service we provide for our customers and partners, digitizing venues with interactive digital maps, blue dots for accurate indoor positioning and navigation, and coordinating hardware implementation if needed.

On top of that, our team will support you to set up the SDK and ensure smooth integration and deployment throughout the process.

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Download Factsheet to learn more about Pointr DLaaS® or

Contact us to start your journey with our 45-day pilot program.

How does your algorithm work?

Pointr Indoor Location has more than 20+ patents and leverages a proprietary AI engine, continuously refined through over a decade of research and development. This advanced algorithm eliminates the need for time-consuming building surveys ("fingerprinting") typically required by other indoor positioning systems.


Here's a simplified overview:

  • Core Technology: Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) leverages a proprietary AI engine that has been continuously refined through years of research and development. This engine employs advanced algorithms for real-time location analysis.
  • Sensor Fusion: Blue Dot integrates data from various sources:
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from nearby beacons.
    • Sensor data from user devices, including gyroscopes (motion detectors).
  • Self-Learning Algorithm: The AI engine continuously analyzes sensor data and Bluetooth signals to learn and improve location accuracy over time. This eliminates the need for manual system calibration within buildings ("fingerprinting").
  • Compass-Free Approach: Compasses can be unreliable indoors due to magnetic interference. Our patented compassless technology improves users' movement utilizing the device’s sensor and ensures a smooth wayfinding journey with accurate directions.
This clever approach allows Pointr Indoor Location to work in new locations without needing a separate "training" process for each building, enabling efficient deployment at scale in various locations.

Blue Dot

How accurate is Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot)?

Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) delivers an average accuracy of 1-3 meters, which can vary based on beacon density.

  • Low-ceiling environments with high beacon density: Expect accuracy below 3 meters (e.g., offices, hospitals).
  • High-ceiling environments with low/moderate beacon density: Expect accuracy below 5 meters (e.g., warehouses, parking garages, train stations).

High-ceiling environments with limited beacon deployment: Expect accuracy below 6 meters (e.g., airports).

Note

This is average wayfinding accuracy. Our algorithm expects users to move/walk, so if you stand still, the result won’t improve. As these are average figures, there will be moments where our accuracy is worse, but the average walking / moving person will be very decent.

Many competitors claim 1-meter accuracy, which is often false. At Pointr, we prioritize transparency and offer on-site pilots to showcase its capabilities.

How do you guarantee/ maintain accuracy?

Following deployment, our team generates a report that certifies the expected accuracy, ensuring a successful implementation.  

Our algorithms are self-calibrating, meaning our accuracy remains consistent (or improves with future updates) unless the infrastructure is disrupted (e.g., beacons are removed)

Does Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) require internet?

No! Once cached, our algorithm can work seamlessly offline (on the “edge,” with all calculations taking place on the phone). This is applicable to positioning, search, map display and even wayfinding.

Does indoor location (Blue Dot) work on my phone?

Yes, in most cases! Blue Dot uses the same technology (written in C++) for both iPhone and Android devices, so it should work on most smartphones on the market.

Note

Some older or lower-spec Android phones might not have a gyroscope sensor. This sensor helps improve accuracy, so Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) might be slightly less precise on those devices.

Does indoor location (Blue Dot) drain my phone battery?

No! We've designed our system to use very little battery power. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy, which is known for being super efficient, so it shouldn't have a noticeable impact on your phone battery life.

Geofencing

Do you support virtual geofencing?

Yes! Geofences can be configured virtually on Pointr Cloud dashboard and they will be active as soon as saved & published.

How small can a geofence be?

Beacon geofences are detected using our positioning. Therefore, the smallest geofence should be 2x the average accuracy (eg. if average accuracy is 3 meters, a 6 meter diameter geofence would be fine). For GPS geofences, it is subject to GPS accuracy. However, GPS is often optimized for cars so it might show a pedestrian in a parking lot on the road. Therefore, keeping GPS geofences larger (at least 25 meter diameter) is a good idea.

Is there a limit on number of geofences?

No! We have developed clever shuffling algorithms to allow you to create unlimited number of geofences. Our algorithm shuffles them based on user’s last detected location.

Can geofences be any shape?

Beacon geofences can be any polygon shape. GPS geofences have to be circular (due to underlying iOS/Android geofencing limitations).

Can I show X to my users when they enter/leave a geofence?

Yes - we provide your app the geofencing events. You can then use these events to show anything / take any action in your app.

Maps

Can I customize the map style?

Yes, though our maps come with Pointr styling by default, this can be tweaked and changed to incorporate brand colours and styling.

Are maps accessible without an internet connection?

Yes - once an app has been opened (with an internet connection) and the map data cached, maps and their associated features can be accessed even if the user's smartphone has lost internet connection.

How many objects can a Pointr Map render?

Pointr maps are designed with scale in mind - our maps can simultaneously support thousands of objects.

Can I use a difference base map for my Pointr Maps, such as Google Maps?

Technically, this is possible but will require considering additional licensing. For example, Google Maps doesn’t allow the use of their content outside the Google ecosystem.

Can I convert my existing maps from my current vendor to Pointr Maps?¶

If existing maps are in vector format (SVG, GeoJSON, maptiles), we should be able to use them; however, our delivery team needs to verify this on a case-by-case basis.

Wayfinding

How does auto path generation work?

We create paths using AI including all walkable spaces on a floor (avoiding all obstacles).

What happens if user has low signal / no internet?

Our wayfinding algorithm works without internet (on Mobile) so there won’t be any interruption. On the Web, however, it requires internet connection.

Can I create paths manually?

Yes - you have full control over the paths on Pointr Cloud. Users can edit them as they like.

Can I block certain areas (eg. back office) from wayfinding?

Yes - wayfinding will not go to areas where there are no paths so users can ensure no paths are drawn in areas where they don’t want wayfinding to work.

Note: Blue Dot and Wayfinding work independently. Blue Dot will work where you have beacons (or else, it will show GPS location). Wayfinding will work where paths are defined on the map.

Does it work outdoors (eg. car park)?

Yes - wayfinding works across a site (including outdoors). For example, from the car park to inside the building.

Does it work multi-level? How about multi-building?

Yes - our wayfinding works multi-level and multi-building as you would expect.

Does wayfinding require Blue Dot / beacons?

Wayfinding and Blue Dot work independently. Wayfinding can work without any Blue Dot but it would be static (ie. it wouldn’t update as you move), from a specified start location.

Can we have a pre-defined destination or mission (eg. "Show me all dining options")?

Yes - both of these options are supported.

Hardware

Why use beacons? REFRESHED

While hardware-free solutions exist, such as WiFi or geomagnetic-based fingerprinting, they often require frequent calibration and struggle to maintain accuracy. 

At Pointr, we offer hardware-agnostic solutions, meaning Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) offers a reliable approach by leveraging your existing infrastructure (like WiFi access points or smart lighting) alongside our low-maintenance Bluetooth beacons  (5 years battery life) that we procure from our 3rd party partners.

To learn more about why you shouldn’t consider hard-ware-free solutions, read our dedicated blog to explain why and which infrastructure you should choose to best fit into your solution. (Further reading: Watch the “Know your signal” training)

What is the installation process?

Pointr offers quick and easy installation process. We carry out the beacon deployment with our team or partner (3rd party applicable) depending on your requirements.

Different buildings have different installation time frames, depending on their ages, sizes and complexities. The estimated hardware installation timescale for 100,000 sqm is 4-8 weeks. A train station with 18 platforms can be done within a single night working after hours. 

The new beacon configuration process is generally done with the Pointr Guru App, Pointr team configures beacons for specific placement prior to installation to ensure error-free deployment. For existing beacons, beacon configuration can be done directly in Pointr Cloud. Pointr conducts complete on-site tests to ensure all beacons operate normally and blue-dot performs within specification. Which means any BLE blindspots can be identified and rectified by adding beacons as necessary.

Is it expensive to deploy Beacons?

Not at all! Beacons are low-cost devicesThe batteries in the beacons will last approx. 5 years with very few maintenance required.

Our highly-trained professional team can install beacons efficiently to help you cut down operation cost.

What maintenance do the Beacons need?

We source beacons from trusted partners. We guarantee 4 years of battery life (but expect 5+ years). Powered options (such as BLE beacons from WiFi or Smart Lighting) don’t have such an issue.

How big is one Beacon?

One beacon is normally around 5cm x 3cm x 2cm. The compact size allows you to deploy the beacons in the least visible locations or lighting systems, blending functionality with your interior design.

Where to source the Beacons?

Pointr is hardware agnostic and we source our beacons from 3rd party providers. You can either source them directly or through us, we offer flexible solutions to help you finish your project without a hassle. Two of our highly-recommended providers are Kontakt and GCell.

What is the range of each Beacon?

The maximum range of Beacons is around 70 meters (230 ft). However, Pointr Deep Location™ recommends 20 meters (66 ft) apart per Beacon placement to ensure the accuracy and stability of the system.

For Beacon Installation, a good beacon positioning is the key to high accuracy deployments. It is recommended that every 30-40m beacon is installed in a corridor. In a large open space, we arrange beacons in 5-beacon constellations and every 180 - 200 sqm for one beacon. 

What is the preferred protocol for Beacons?

Pointr SDK only needs to receive BLE signals. Thus, Pointr can work with both iBeacon and Eddystone with the same accuracy and performance.

The only main difference is that: Eddystone doesn't support apps working in the background on iOS. However, if a client wants higher security and doesn't need background capabilities on iOS, we recommend using Eddystone.

 

 

Can I use my own beacons?

In most cases, yes! Pointr Indoor Location (Blue Dot) works with most Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons set up for iBeacon. However, for the best accuracy, we recommend consulting with your assigned Project Manager at Pointr. You can also check our "Existing Hardware" policy for more details.

Do you support virtual beacons?

Yes, Blue Dot works with virtual beacons in the sense that it can leverage zone-based locations similar to what some virtual beacon solutions offer.  

However, it's important to clarify a common misconception. Virtual beacons advertised by some competitors (like Juniper Mist's WiFi AP solution) don't truly replace physical beacons. Virtual beacons often refer to a concept called "geofencing," which allows for location awareness within specific zones. This functionality is already supported by Pointr Indoor Location and Geofencing, so you can achieve similar results without physical beacons in certain situations.

For the most precise location tracking, however, physical beacons are still recommended.  We recommend consulting with your dedicated Project Manager to determine the best solution for your specific needs.

Software

Do I need an App?

At Pointr, our location platform comes in two solutions: App-Based and App-Free.

Our SDK can be easily integrated into the existing Apps with tapped-in Pointr location-based features. We also provide white label App that is open for integration and can be tailored to each project's needs. 

Our App-Free analytics platform, Pointr POP, picks up Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi signals from either smartphones or smart-tags and provides insightful location-based analytics report, allowing capacity for App-free anonymous analytics via any smartphones or smart-tags.

Please view our Location-Based Analytics page for further details.

Which platform is compatible with Pointr SDK?

Pointr provides Mobile SDK iOS & Android and Web & Kiosk SDK.

Pointr Mobile SDK (iOS & Android)

Pointr Mobile SDK is a native library available on both iOS and Android, designed to be integrated seamlessly into mobile apps to enable Interactive Maps, Wayfinding, Search and additional engaging functionalities such as Augmenting Reality.

Pointr Web & Kiosk SDK 

Interactive Maps, Venues or Products Search and Wayfinding can also be experienced on desktop and mobile browsers or on kiosk hardware, including tailored functionality such as: Animated screensaver, Reset screen after timeout, Multi-language ,Automatic online software updates.

What are the options for customization?

Our SDK is highly-flexible, different features can be easily integrated into your own implementation. However, we do recommend getting in touch with our professional team to discuss any specific customization where they are required.

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Explore Deep Location™

 

Pointr’s Deep Location platform powers all your location requirements,
from mapping and navigation to
location-based analytics and marketing.

 

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