Finnish Nokia (NYSE:NOK)) is currently running two pilot projects using an extension of Bluetooth 4.0 to accomplish indoor navigation. The effort undertaken by Nokia Research basically builds on triangulation using arrays of low power antennas and an extension to the Bluetooth protocol.
The extension is currently not a part of Bluetooth, but could be included by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group in about 18 month according to Nokia.
Nokia plans to use the standard not only for indoor navigation in shopping malls, hospitals, educational establishments, but also to track thing like shopping carts in real time to learn more about consumer behavior. Although when disclosed consumers recently seemed less than happy about being tracked.
Nokia is also considering including other networks such as Wi-Fi in the proposed standard. W-Fi provides greater coverage from an access point whereas Bluetooth provides better granularity.
The extension of the Bluetooth protocol will require significant driver changes and possibly changes in hardware design. The announcement comes at the same time as Google is also staring to promote Google Maps for indoor navigation.S|A
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