Oulu Scientists Create New Navigation App Using Magnetic Field Disruption Caused by Buildings
Oulu University scientists have developed system of navigation based around the way in which buildings disturb the earth’s magnetic fields.
As there is an accurate compass in every i-Phone or Android, the innovation means that people need never be lost in a large building again.
The team found that steel masses inside buildings warp the earth’s magnetic field such that every place in a building produces a distinct pattern.
‘Each building, floor and corridor creates a distinct magnetic field disturbance that can be measured to identify a location and generate a map,’ says Dr. Janne Haverinen, the head of the project, and a researcher at the Computer Science Department at Oulu University.
According to the team, the finding has clear practical implications and they have founded ‘Indoor Atlas Ltd’ to commercialize it as a Smart Phone application.
They claim that the Indoor Atlas could be used for store promotions, or simply finding your way around a mall or airport. For it to make predictions, you have to add the map position of your location but the App shows you exactly how to do this.
Indoor Atlas have run tests down a 1400 metre Zinc mine and they found that their innovation permitted them to accurately position themselves using mineral deposits, as they disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field.
Dr Haverinen adds that until now it has been necessary to install Wi-Fi in buildings for navigation based services to work but this will no longer be necessary.
Indoor Atlas gives you an accurate position in a building to between 1 and 2 metres. It can even be used in conjunction with other mapping devices in order to provide more detail.