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Navteq Demos Future of GPS Navigation on Nokia N8

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Nokia N8 Navteq indoor positioningMobile World Congress, BARCELONA, Spain – Nokia-owned navigation company Navteq is actively developing what could become the future of mapping, and presented several of its innovations, including indoor positioning, on a hacked Nokia N8.

Google changed the course of mapping when it simply – or rather not that simply – dumped pictures of entire countries on the web. We know this system as Street View, and for those who utilise it frequently, it is quite useful as the destination and paths that lead to it can be viewed in advance. Navteq will follow a similar route with Natural Guidance. Carrying pictures of entire cities can weigh several terabytes, space that mobile phones don’t offer, therefore it is far easier to simply incorporate 3D renderings of buildings. The mapping company has camera-equipped cars travelling throughout several countries – including South Africa – capturing data which in future can become crucial for motorists or pedestrians when taking a turn and the street name is not visible. The 3D renderings will not be exact, but the existing detailed 3D landmarks will be ported to the newer version in order to complete the visual maps.

Indoor positioning is a GPS feature Nokia has for long discussed and attempted. Popular belief tells us that positioning strictly requires triangulation from satellites, which is not very handy inside tall buildings. Navteq is countering this barrier by actually setting up sensors of its own that would be installed throughout these buildings. Wi-Fi footprint analysis isn’t perfect enough according to the experts, who believe that the new beacon system could become widely adopted – a single beacon can provide excellent accuracy for the entire building. Besides providing the much-needed guidance through large venues (such as the Mobile World Congress pavillions), the system could come in handy for emergency response teams in case disaster strikes (and that the beacon isn’t knocked down, of course). This was shown on a modified Symbian-based Nokia N8 smartphone.

Public transportation ironically also requires the use of GPS navigation. When in a foreign country, as evidenced by the PhoneReport team, it’s not always easy to find the closest route to a venue (such as the Fira Barcelona), or the way to-and-fro the airport. Navteq demonstrated a navigation example not only featuring the latest 3D renderings, but also the use of pedestration walking and subway usage. The technology doesn’t seem very far away, and could soon be on future Nokia smartphones, as well as on other phone-makers’ devices, seeing that Navteq has a wide range, outside Nokia.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Feb 22nd, 2011 GMT +2


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