Often when we think of navigation, the familiar blue dot pops into our minds. Especially when using outdoor map applications like Google Maps, we rely on the blue dot to show us where we are at that moment. And now, with indoor navigation solutions becoming more prominent in the market, it’s easy to assume that it’s only natural to follow the blue dot trend. Many have already implemented the blue dot technology and while it might seem like an essential feature, there are multiple reasons why indoor navigation doesn’t need a blue dot.
Technology and cost
Many of us rely on the blue dot when navigating outdoors by car or by foot and it’s easy to take the feature for granted. But in fact, there’s a lot of technology underlying the popular moving blue dot. The blue dot’s real-time position is primarily detected by GPS systems, which, as you know, rely on signals from satellites. The cost of satellites are split across various safety and commercial purposes and allows for map applications to use its GPS features. However, this isn’t the case for indoor navigation. Buildings and constructions block or reflect GPS signals, making it necessary to implement other technology to make up a blue dot indoors.
To get the blue dot experience in indoor navigation, it’s necessary to install multiple Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices across the entire building in order to ensure accurate positioning. This itself is costly, but with the devices come also essential software needed in order to employ the blue dot feature.
Is the Blue Dot essential?
Using outdoor navigation to guide us when driving, we’re led down roads and streets without too much variation. But when we move around by foot inside buildings, chances are that we change our directions often; stopping by your colleague’s office on the way, remembering you forgot something in the printer room, or maybe going to the restroom. Because of this, it’s necessary to install a large number of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices to ensure that all parts of the building are covered. As previously mentioned, this is expensive. But is it essential?
It can be argued that, no, a blue dot is not the most useful tool when navigating inside buildings. For outdoor navigation, the feature is immensely helpful when trying to determine which way to go. In large cities, some streets and avenues are so long that it can be difficult to figure out which direction to go. In these cases, the blue dot helps by showing in which direction you’re moving and makes it easy to turn around and get back on track. In comparison, it’s often easier to figure out your position inside a building based on your route plan and the details of your surroundings. You won’t need the same amount of direction assistance as when navigating outdoors, leaving behind the need for the blue dot. An alternative to using blue dots is the option to implement kiosks around the building for a “You Are Here” option.
Make way for interactive and dynamic integrations
Indoor navigation is a lot more than simple directions from point A to point B, so before deciding to invest in blue dot technology, it might be relevant to look into how types of other features could optimize your indoor navigation experience.
By choosing an indoor navigation platform that allows dynamic integrations, you can customize your map to make it fit you and your building’s needs. Dynamic integrations are live-data integrations that provide users with fresh and visualized data and an interactive experience on the map. In fact, in multiple cases, the visualization of data becomes more important than turn-by-turn navigation. For corporate offices and universities, where most users are familiar with the building layouts, the implementation of dynamic integrations could instead enhance the users experience by giving an overview of available meeting rooms and workstations as well as being able to book them directly via the map. In other large venues such as hospitals or airports indoor navigation plays a bigger role, since these venues are unfamiliar to a lot of the people who move in them. However, in most of these cases indoor navigation alone is enough to make it easy for users to navigate the spaces .
Most venues today have a lot of segregated data spread across various software platforms, but with an indoor navigation platform, it becomes possible to gather it all into one place. Provide your users with all the information they need in one visual experience and take indoor navigation one step further than simple A to B directions.
If you are interested to read more about what our indoor mapping and navigation platform, MapsIndoors, can offer you and your business, our experts are always ready to help you out. You can also always find more inspiration in our blog.