ipin industry panel 2013

Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation 2013: Industry Panel Debate

The industry panel discussion at the 2013 Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation Conference in Montbéliard, France took place on 29. October. The panel had representatives from Elliptic Labs, Qualcomm, Movea, and Polestar.

The panel members from left to right were:

  • Tobias Dahl (Elliptic Labs), who also gave a presentation entitled “Ultrasound for touchless interaction”.
  • Lionel Garin (Qualcomm) who also delivered a keynote entitled “Perspectives and Challenges to Deliver Ubiquitous Indoor Positioning”.
  • Sverre Holm (University of Oslo) – moderator.
  • Anne Frassati (Movea) who also delivered a keynote entitled “Indoor Pedestrian Navigation : a MEMS centric approach”.
  • Nicolas Etienne (Polestar) who also gave a presentation entitled “Scalable indoor positioning”.

Among topics that were discussed were:

  • Smartphone sensors are getting better and better and with intertial sensors with more uniform quality from phone manufacturer to manufacturer. A new post-MEMS generation of sensors is also expected.
  • Consumer applications represent the largest market for hardware and software, but there are many non-consumer applications also, such as asset tracking or company-wide localization in e.g. open office spaces where workers have different location every day.
  • If indoor positioning takes off for consumer applications, will we also get an indoor version of Open Street Map?
  • There was agreement that crowd-sourcing of location data was important, preferrably automatic and without any effort on behalf of the user, and without compromising privacy. Crowd-sourcing is a topic which could be more at the forefront of university research also.
  • Smartphone sensors now include WiFi, gyros, accelerometers, and barometer s. What about sensors that not only sense what’s going on with the phone, but also around the phone such as cameras, audio and ultrasound? Present cameras in a phone are fine for initial calibration, but not for day to day use, but perhaps cameras in Google glasses will be more useful as a permanent input to positioning? Another trend is that audio input/ouput in smartphones is getting multichannel capability as well as performance that goes well into the ultrasound range.
  • What is the high-risk research that companies would like to do, but don’t have the time for, and which universities could do? There was agreement that risky is not enough, it must also be relevant. This means that one must know very well the use cases of the companies. It is necessary to build an environment of trust between academia and companies where intellectual property is properly handled. There is potentially a large upside for universities in this because companies may possess new technology that may be crucial for doing advanced research at universities.

This is one of a few posts in English on this blog.