5 indoor navigation predictions for 2021

As the new year approaches, the time has to come to take a look at what awaits us in 2021. As technologies progress, so will people’s expectations, indoor navigation which used to be a novel added feature, will become natural and expected when people visit new places and venues such as large offices, stadiums, airports, hospitals, conventions and so forth.

But how will the indoor (and outdoor) mapping of venues continue to transform in the new year? We have asked the experts at MapsPeople, and are excited to share their predictions with you.

#1 Smart offices

A recurring favorite among predictions, the smart office made it onto the list again this year. The transition to incorporate smart office technologies has been accelerated noticeably within the last year, mainly due to COVID-19. This has allowed for new changes, previously reducing workstations and converting to hot-desks or smart workplaces seemed excessive, but now with many people continuing to work from home, companies are more open to this development.

Additionally, the upcoming year will incorporate more dynamic integrations. Indoor mapping was initially focused on static stand-alone solutions, that were only suitable for finding POIs. In the new year, even more dynamic integrations will be incorporated, making it easy to integrate calendars, booking systems, space sensors, and a number of IoT devices with indoor maps.

This allows users to get relevant real-time information such as updates regarding parking spaces, meeting room availability, the length of the lunch queue, schedule for in-venue transportation such as shuttle buses and much more regardless of venue type.


#2 Outbreak prevention

In 2021 we will continue to make sure people stay safe and avoid contagion when interacting with businesses and the public. This need will be met with innovative solutions such as a crowd management feature, in which indoor maps users will be guided differently to make sure that they are spread out, rather than huddled together in close proximity at sports games, conferences and so forth.

Converting to using more contactless technologies will similarly lessen the spread of viruses, for instance you can use indoor maps for room selection when booking hotel rooms as well as contactless check in. Sports games could also benefit, allowing spectators to order food directly to their seat, or navigating them to the concession stand with the shortest queue, as well as allowing them to pay with their phones.

Similarly, we predict to see more remote attendance, in which people will be able to follow events from home. For instance, sports events such as US OPEN where people will be able to look at maps and follow participants’ movements, and see the amount of strokes a golf player has used.

#3 Indoor Positioning Systems

Native indoor positioning will slowly but surely become a more integrated part of smart phones through the adoption of dual-band GNSS and 5G mobile networks. However, to achieve in-room or better accuracy indoors, external systems will still be required for some time.


#4 Retail

Indoor mapping will be used more frequently in the retail section, particularly in regards to managing facilities. Indoor maps can be used to produce useful data as to what aisles in the store perform the best, for instance by installing heat maps that can track the people flow, allowing managers to see what people look at and for how long.

Compared with mapping out store layouts in a conventional way, indoor mapping is way less time consuming, and creates more accuracy. Meanwhile, this also allows people to visualise stores online as pictures can be added making it possible to take a virtual tour. Similarly, Google Maps Street View can be enabled allowing corporate to see the store in its surroundings.

Using indoor maps will, therefore, give managers a better overview as to which store layouts create the most revenue, which will in turn help optimize sales as well as creating a better overall customer experience.

#5 Accessibility

One of our main goals is to make the world more accessible by guiding people, anywhere, anytime. While no solution works for every disability, different approaches can be incorporated into indoor mapping to make people’s lives more convenient. For instance, indoor maps can help locate ramps, elevators, accessible restrooms and much more.

Another way indoor maps will create accessibility is with seamless indoor/outdoor navigation to help visually impaired people, for instance by being able to use underground stations or other venues without having to rely on assistance. This will help visually impaired gain more independence and give them more confidence when navigating in public.

If you want to experience what MapsIndoors would look like in your venue, book a demo with one of our MapsIndoors experts.

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