We take turn-by-turn navigation on our smartphones without any consideration. Whether we’re walking, cycling, or driving, our smartphones allow us to urge our destination or a minimum of, and they tend to push us through the most a part of our journey.
While current navigation apps get you pretty on the brink of your destination (and generally start you outside the building you’re currently in), the longer term of mobile maps will devour your exact location and navigate you all the thanks to your precise desk within the office, airport gate or hotel check-in.
During CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, we sat down with Here Technologies CEO, EdzardOverbeek to speak about how the firm helps to bring this complex, indoor and outdoor, multi-trip navigation to reality.
What if your turn-by-turn navigation can start at your desk? It will be possible soon, beginning with an update coming to the Here WeGo map app later this year.
Here claims it’s bringing nav indoors. It’s own map app – WeGo – alongside Google Maps and Apple Maps, all currently offer various indoor layouts for popular locations like shopping malls, airports, and other large transport hubs. Still, you cannot get turn-by-turn navigation inside these floor plans.
However, soon you’ll be able to navigate directly to your airport gate, train platform, or favorite shop with turn-by-turn walking instructions available on your smartphone.
We were shown a demo of how the new app will function, and it started on the fifth floor of an office building in Berlin. The layout was fully mapped, with various offices and corridors, and therefore the imaginary person’s location accurately pinpointed within the environment.
The pinpoint technology doesn’t solely believe GPS, though – which struggles to penetrate buildings and thus can cause unreliable indoor location data. The app also uses other radio technology on the device, including Wi-Fi and, if beacons are installed around the office, Bluetooth even.
It’s something other mapping solutions and mobile devices are going to be ready to cash in of within the future – bringing even better location data to everyone.With this accurate location, the app is in a position to draw a path to the elevator, follow you down the floors, through the foyer, out onto the road, and, therefore, the parking lot to your car.
This indoor navigation can work anywhere Here has mapped. It already features several transport hubs, shopping malls, and Las Vegas hotels on the books, and it’s looking to expand its database within the future continuously.
With you the whole way, across all transport
Back to that demo, and now we’re outside, the app knows where you’ve parked and seamlessly provides directions to your vehicle. Once inside, we’re told that it will recognize you’re in the car and will adapt the navigation for the next part of the journey.
You’ll be ready to import various bookings like flights and hotel stays, so entering your destination when you’re sitting at the desk within the office will see WeGo pull all this information together to offer you an entire navigation experience in one place, across all modes of transport.
It may even be ready to assist you in finding a parking spot once you get to the airport, navigate you to the gate. Once you’ve landed, it could potentially link with ride-sharing services to provide you with a way to get from the airport to the hotel — all without having to leave the app.
We’d be surprised if the initial public offering is as seamless because the demo we were shown though, because the complexities and unpredictable nature of real-life can present problems that the system will struggle with.
A long road ahead
The technology has got to start somewhere, though, and there is the potential for it to become a strong offering within the coming years.
Another issue Here will face are going to be encouraging users to indeed download the WeGo app within the first place. With Apple Maps and Google Maps comes pre-installed on iPhones and Android phones by default (plus the latter is also available on iPhone) – there’s little need for consumers to hunt for an alternative mapping solution.
While the advancements have shown are intriguing and potentially a unique selling point for the app in its early days, if Here is doing it, it’s probably only a matter of time before Google and Apple begin to supply similar features in their apps.
It’s also not clear what proportion of this new service is going to be available from launch, how well it’ll work when the launch date is outside of this year, or how many locations will be thoroughly mapped indoors. What’s exciting though, is that the fact mapping on our smartphones and directions to urge places g