The indoor navigation and positioning system has seen a massive boom over the past year. With the pandemic, more businesses are looking at indoor navigation applications to keep their staff safe and keep business running as usual.
In 2021, this industry is set to reach even further heights as more people see how useful this technology can be for their business.
What is indoor navigation?
This technology makes up a network of Bluetooth and unified positioning technology that allows the user to track assets or people inside a location that GPS does not work well in. This opens up many avenues for implementing position tracking to increase the efficiency of a business in industries such as retail, warehousing, manufacturing, healthcare, and more.
The use of these indoor navigation applications has been so widespread. It has penetrated so many new markets that, at its current rate of expansion, it is expected to reach a growth rate of 30.50% in the coming years (based on this market research).
Forecasts also show the value of the market is set to be at around $24 billion by 2023, which is a massive jump from the base years’ stats (2017), which was close to $7 billion.
How will this system affect the future of business?
As more people identify with the system, the more uses and expectations will spring out of it. GPS has been a worldwide phenomenon for a long time, and the way it has been used and integrated into other systems and technologies has revolutionized the world and the way we work.
However, GPS is only able to work up to a certain extent and where they fail is when you’re inside or in locations that satellite signals cannot penetrate through (even through walls and ceilings of buildings).
Using a system of battery-based beacons that are placed inside buildings and Bluetooth, we can remove this limitation and get an accurate picture through the signals that these beacons receive. The innovations that are being made to these internal navigation systems are indicative of the revolutionary methods used by GPS at its time.
To put it into context, let’s look at some everyday situations in business and in life and how it can be affected:
General Life in 2021 – The Challenges
GPS has been known to fail in remote and underground locations meaning that you could potentially be lost in a place you don’t know. However, Navigine has created a solution for this where they use aided navigation to get reliable positioning in even the most remote locations.
Running a massive manufacturing operation is not easy and involves managing hundreds of staff, vehicles, and building space. Doing all this without investing in multiple expensively complex systems can be a danger to their staff’s health and the costs of running the business.
Suppose this is all brought into one system and you are able to utilize tracking systems on vehicles and other assets while also using real-time analytics and motion systems.
In that case, the process will be highly centralized and will make it easy to monitor efficiency and safety standards. Navigine has already created this solution using its indoor positioning system.
We can all agree that advertising has the potential to change the world because of the impact it has had on global causes over the past decades. Using this location-based technology, businesses will be able to appeal to different audiences using targeted campaigns aimed at each of these audiences rather than one campaign aimed at their whole market.
How Covid-19 has affected businesses
The pandemic raging these days has become a crucial factor that every business in the world has been affected by in some way. It has created many new challenges that businesses were not prepared for and we are seeing whole new methods of innovation being brought in to combat these changes.
The new normal that we see these days is the need for social distancing between people. Internal locations such as warehouses and offices are more susceptible to spreading the virus because of the way they work.
This is why there is an increasing need for new technology that is able to monitor contact between workers and also conduct contact tracing to stem the spread of the virus as much as possible.
As it currently stands, the world still needs to continue its operations even though this brings up many complications. When an employee is found to be Covid positive, the current method of dealing with it is to halt all operations, isolate all the other employees, and place everyone in quarantine. This is a highly impractical method and involves a high cost.
With the application of indoor positioning systems, we can get a clear and precise view of everything that happened inside that location. Contact tracing will be much easier to keep track of because this system can consistently track people working in that area using the multiple Bluetooth and beacon technologies placed inside these areas.
The worker who had the virus could then be tracked and this information will tell us where this person had visited over the past few days and the areas that they were most active in. Quick action can be taken to disinfect these areas, identify potential leaks, and get a list of co-workers with who they would have come in contact.
These systems will be crucial to stemming the spread of the virus and will make the whole process of identifying and keeping tracking of Covid-19 patients worldwide so much simpler. Hospitals that incorporate this patient tracking system will be able to use the information to curb the virus from spreading.
There is only so much we can do to prevent the virus from wreaking havoc globally and the implementation of these systems can do wonders to keep the virus in check.
Related: Challenges Ahead: Coronavirus Impact
Here is how internal positioning will affect businesses this year.
Implementing indoor navigation into retail stores and malls can do a lot for both businesses and customers alike. Companies can lead customers straight to the products they are looking for using this system. You can even utilize geo-location inside a mall to notify customers about a sale or deal when they are close to the store.
Because of how fast-paced the retail industry is – and with giants like Amazon creating intense online competition – many retail businesses are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the customer experience and increase sales. That is where internal navigation software comes into play with their advanced location systems and notifications that are going to save both the business and the customer money and time.
The manufacturing side of business is also seeing a boom in innovative technology that saves time and cost. Currently, large factories require a lot of staff working and supervising to keep running smoothly. There is a lot that needs to be kept track of, and it is very easy to lose track of what goes on inside big operations like these.
With the introduction of real-time monitoring software, these businesses will be able to track the movement of all their staff and assets, which will, over time, make the whole process faster and smoother. This will boost productivity levels, help identify hidden costs that can usually get lost in massive spreadsheets, and help managers make more informed decisions in real-time.
All this is only with the start of this new era in development. In 2021, especially with the way Covid-19 has hit this industry, these technologies will be adopted by many manufacturing businesses to help with their day-to-day work and, thus, will only improve over time.
The one thing that is most prominent about the way we work now because of the virus is that most businesses have switched to remote working. Companies have woken up to the fact that technology can be incorporated into how their staff work to increase convenience and, thereby, productivity.
As such, there has been more talk about incorporating more of this technology into regular offices because of the success we have seen so far. This technology can be used to monitor real-time data inside offices, such as meeting room availability, cloud-based security, booking software, and more.
Logistics may look like an easy job from a description of it of but that in reality, that is far from the case. Everything from identifying packages to delivering them to the correct location can be a huge process depending on the company’s size.
Without software or technology in place, this method can take days or weeks, severely underutilizing the efficiency needed. We still need further improvements to processes to make shopping simpler in an increasingly digital era. The focus remains to minimize supply chain disruptions.
Understanding the Changes
Indoor positioning systems provide real-time statistics and help in boosting productivity in various categories of business. Business owners can use this data – such as in retail sectors to attract customers and increase sales.
With time, more businesses will adjust to incorporate these new technologies, such as vehicles that can use the location system to navigate around warehouses by themselves to deliver boxes.
In 2021, navigation software like this may start to get adopted faster by companies than ever done previously.
If anything, Covid-19 has proven that humans can adapt to many situations even if they have never seen them before.
We all need to do our part in curbing this virus and the use of indoor navigation applications is certainly going to be a very important step in helping with this. Now, it has many uses and applications that it can certainly help with. That being said, it is now more important than ever to introduce an internal navigation and positioning system to help the world fight against Covid-19.