Nokia pilots indoor mobile navigation

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by David Masters

Mobile phones that help users navigate around complicated buildings such as shopping centres, hospitals, and universities could soon be available if a Nokia trial proves successful.

The handset maker is currently testing a pilot mobile indoor positioning system at Kamppi Shopping Centre in Helsinki, Finland.

To use the pilot system, shoppers download trial software to their mobile phone from the Nokia Beta Labs website.

Once connected, shoppers can use the mobile indoor positioning tool to track their position inside the shopping centre, pinpoint their location on indoor maps, download vouchers for nearby shops, and share their location with friends via SMS.

The latest pilot is a continuation of an ongoing Nokia trial started March 2009.

“The results from the trial so far have been extremely positive,” said Christian Prehofer of the Nokia Research Centre.

“Since March the indoor maps, vouchers and information service attracted over 30,000 hits and had more than 6,500 unique users.

“With the launch of mobile indoor positioning we are not only conducting a unique large scale experiment but aim to demonstrate the capability and potential uses for indoor positioning services, as well as bringing consumers a different and exciting experience.

“Kamppi Shopping Center provides us with an excellent place to test this.”

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