Using Edge Computing for Easy Indoor Navigation
Posted by Ido Gur on Jul 27, 2020
Tags: • 5G • mec• edgecomputing • AR
Imagine this: you’re wandering around a huge shopping mall, looking for that one, specific shop, and you only have 15 minutes to find it. Not an easy task, right? Big airports can also be a nightmare, and who can ever remember where they parked in a huge parking lot?
GPS-based indoor navigation often fails. A building’s walls, roofs, and ceilings can obstruct the signals, and satellites have a hard time picking up an exact location indoors. That’s not to say such solutions are impossible, and, in fact, they do exist, but they lack precision and contextual awareness in real-time.
Leveraging the Power of Visual Markers in Indoor Positioning Systems
Indoor mapping and positioning could be improved by using visual markers to define location inside buildings. For instance, by mapping the ceiling, enterprises could offer a high-level starting point for navigation.
By using these markers, AR-based navigation systems would enable users to pinpoint their exact location in a building and then offer them a host of possibilities for navigation in real-time. It could be as simple as projecting a path that needs to be taken or enabling different functions to modify and track elements inside a building.
The thing is, for this system to work, mapping and positioning systems need to use 4K video recordings. This would mean large signature files that couldn’t possibly be stored on user devices. What’s more, sending video streams of such high definition to the central cloud is near impossible, with latency rendering the entire attempt useless and frustrating.
This is where edge computing and 5G networks come in. These technologies could enable AR-based indoor navigation systems by offering local hosting for ceiling models. With data so close to the user, sending and receiving complex information is easier and faster, especially if we take into account the high bandwidth power of 5G.
Next-level Applications for Indoor Positioning Systems
AR-based indoor navigation systems can be used for navigating airports, shopping malls, amusement parks, hotels, and hospitals. With this system, finding your way around a vast building would become easily manageable.
Industrial and enterprise applications are also transformative in their power. Warehouses and factories could offer their employees an intuitive way to track and position different elements in real-time. The applications don’t stop at navigation, either. There can be a host of other functionalities included, which would enable workers to perform check-ups, maintenance, and tracking without any prior knowledge by using AR readings.
Indoor navigation systems are an essential component in the design of smart cities. The applications are endless, but their widespread adoption and use go hand in hand with the development of edge computing and 5G technology. By leveraging local hosting and computing and high bandwidth throughput, AR-based navigation and various applications that function on top of it can finally be not only possible but efficient and cost-effective. .