13 Dec Interview with indoo.rs: Nick Stein Talks Beacons, SLAM, and ROI
The indoo.rs solution has already been used by the San Francisco airport, Eventbase, KLM, Swisscom, and several other companies in numerous verticals. We sat down with indoo.rs’ Nick Stein to hear more about their projects, their game-changing SLAM technology, and to get some industry insight for companies looking into beacon solutions and capabilities.
indoo.rs uses state of the art indoor mapping, localization, and routing technology to drive their beacon-based wayfinding technology. Their SDK can also be utilized by application developers and device manufacturers to create their own tools. Using triangulation and trilateration to pinpoint a device’s location in a building, the indoo.rs solution can be used for many use cases in many different kinds of venues. Venue and building owners, events organizers, and app developers looking to integrate navigation capabilities, in particular, are finding success with the indoo.rs application.
indoo.rs has worked with all kinds of different companies. What are some of the most common verticals you have success with?
We work in Corporate Campuses, Retail, and Museums; however, the areas that we are seeing big expansion in are Healthcare, Transportation and Events. I think our projects in Transport are well known but with our SLAM Technology, we are getting a lot of customers in the Events vertical.
There are several indoor navigation companies out there. What makes indoo.rs technology different from other providers?
As I eluded to in the first answer, our SLAM Technology is something special. The technology has brought down the mapping efforts 10-fold, making setting up for events and conferences very easy. The research and product team spent many long nights and probably ate their height in pizzas making sure our accuracy was not compromised. In fact, it was improved.
The next phase is to use the crowd to map and maintain the maps, allowing for layout changes to be immediately integrated into an Indoor Positioning setup. This will be a game changer for the entire industry.
What differences have you noticed between different verticals’ needs? For example, are there likely to be different needs for a museum vs a retailer?
There are nuances to every install and each vertical has a unique requirement. For instance, a corporate campus has the need to best utilize the facilities, meeting rooms, canteen times, et cetera. A supermarket or retailer is thinking about optimizing a customer experience and potentially upselling the visitor.
There are a few key things that stay relatively consistent across the board though all want to create efficiencies and increase ROI. It is how the ROI is defined that makes the main difference.
You’ve recently implemented your SLAM technology, what are the key differences between this and other pre-existing methods?
I think it is obvious, we love talking about SLAM, so a question focused on it is always great. It all comes down to one thing…TIME. indoo.rs’ SLAM Engine makes it possible to map a location at a regular walking pace.
When I talk about mapping, I must be careful to say that mapping is actually creating a radio data map consisting of hundreds of fingerprints. If I don’t say this, the research team might tape my chair to the ceiling or something similar. To understand more, we have a nice blog or you can visit our website.
Where’s the specific value for businesses and executives?
Again, time is money, as they say.
Setting up for events or expos, anything with a tight deadline actually, SLAM offers a real advantage. When testing new layouts, the updates can be implemented quickly. In the near future it will also offer the entire industry a scalable solution as the mapping will be done by the crowd.
Are there scenarios where SLAM is not practical?
Finding your cat, ordering food…seriously though, we have hopefully planned, researched and developed it so there will only be practical applications for it in Indoor Navigation setups.
Any tips or considerations for companies looking to integrate indoor navigation into their existing program?
The ROI and the general business advantage that are gained from having Indoor Navigation is the main thing to consider. It is also part of an overall IoT strategy for a company/venue to increase engagement. Having said that, one of the things that we hear from time to time is that there is a new technology around the corner that will make beacons, and solutions like ours, obsolete. You (Kontakt) know as well as we do that until the market is saturated with the new technology, nothing is obsolete. Whether that be the new version of Bluetooth 5 or 5G, it will be some time, and there will be a lot of investment needed to make these the standards. If a company wants to have Indoor Navigation, waiting for the “next” technology could be an endless wait. By the time 5G is the standard, 6G will already be on the horizon.
Indoor Navigation can give a great business advantage to companies willing to take it.