Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

With most of the great outdoors pretty well mapped within an inch of its life, indoors is the final navigation frontier. Today Nokia has announced "In-Location" an alliance of 22 companies with the goal of driving and unifying industry innovation in mobile indoor positioning. Names on the list include Broadcom, Samsung, Sony Mobile and Qualcomm, but there are some notable exceptions. The technologies mentioned include Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi, which we've already started to see being explored, and members are encouraged to share data of their own existing pilots. We can apparently expect pre-commercial work and business model verifications this year, with handset-based implementations said to be finding their way out in 2013. Full PR can be found, assistance free, after the break.

Update: Sony has issued a press release celebrating the launch also. Find it after the break along with Nokia's

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Accurate Mobile Indoor Positioning Industry Alliance, called In-Location, to promote deployment of location-based indoor services and solutions

Espoo, Finland - The In-Location Alliance was launched today by 22 companies across industries to drive innovation and market adoption of high accuracy indoor positioning and related services.

Accurate indoor positioning opens up plenty of possibilities for new mobile services. For a consumer this could mean, for example, receiving directions to the right products and personalized product promotions in nearby shops; using real-time navigation inside a building; finding the precise location of assets and people; and even increasing security in emergency situations. For facility owners and local service providers this could enable, for example, increased local customer identification; enhanced product placement; and better customer satisfaction by deploying resources when and where needed.

The Alliance will focus on creating solutions offering high accuracy, low power consumption, mobility, implementability and usability. It will create an ecosystem that stimulates innovation, enhances service delivery, and accelerates the adoption of solutions and technologies that optimize the mobile experience.

Founding members include: Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.

Alliance members will pilot the most promising services and use cases from a business and solution point of view. The other important task for the Alliance is to ensure a multivendor environment by promoting open interfaces and a standard-based approach.

Alliance members are encouraged to execute their own pilots and present their data to the Alliance. The primary solutions will be based on enhanced Bluetooth® 4.0 low-energy technology and Wi-Fi standards using relevant existing or coming features of those technologies. These technologies are commonly used in mobile handsets and are thus a natural starting point for the Alliance's efforts.

Pre-commercial pilots and business model verifications will start in 2012, while 2013 is expected to bring mobile handset-based implementation enabling the first consumer applications in the indoor mobile environment.

The Alliance says: "The aim of the In-Location Alliance is to act as a pioneer opening up new business streams for indoor environments. Indoor positioning is the next frontier of mobile services, offering great opportunities to enhance consumer experiences. For the benefit of enterprises, the Alliance will drive a world-wide indoor positioning system for use in major venues. Our pilots, along with technical evaluations, are paramount for driving rapid market adoption."

Patrick Connolly from ABI Research says: "The indoor location market sits on the cusp of a wave, with the market set to reach a significant number of installations in 2015-2017. With a huge number of proprietary technologies vying for position, the establishment of the In-Location Alliance can encourage innovation, lower costs and, ultimately, widespread adoption of standard based technologies and solutions."

About the In-Location Alliance
The In-Location Alliance was formed by 22 Member companies, including Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe. The In-Location Alliance is open for any industry member, who is ready to further investigate business opportunities in indoor location based services and see value and benefits in industry collaboration.

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Sony joins In-Location Alliance as a founding member

We're excited to introduce the In-Location Alliance, launched today by 22 technology companies with the goal of driving the innovation and development of indoor positioning. As a founding member, we feel it's important to continue supporting the innovation of indoor mapping. It's also a relevant continuation to our ongoing work here at Sony Mobile, as mentioned in our previous indoor maps blog post. Read on for more details on what this unique collaboration means to the mobile community.

The Accurate Mobile Indoor Positioning Industry Alliance is founded by companies representing different roles in the ecosystem – chipset vendors, mobile operators, system integrators, handset manufacturers, application developers, solution vendors, and technology vendors. The Indoor Alliance's main task is working toward the adoption of interoperable indoor positioning solutions and technologies. The indoor positioning system (IPS) technology will primarily be based on enhanced Bluetooth™ low-energy and Wi-Fi® standards.

For Sony, this is especially important, since the Alliance will work together to define specifications and ensure open interfaces and standards for interoperability between vendors, we can ensure that the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity already present in Sony smartphones and tablets will continue to follow industry standards.

Magnus Persson, Positioning Specialist at Sony Mobile, is not only a key evangelist for indoor mapping technology; he is also the Sony spokesperson for the Alliance. Magnus believes that Sony has much to offer by becoming involved with the In-Location Alliance.

- We've already demonstrated our interest and know-how in indoor positioning technologies by creating our own indoor navigation service, so we're eager to share our knowledge and work with and learn from other Alliance members on how to address positioning issues, such as availability and accuracy limitations."

Benefits of indoor positioning
Through accurate indoor positioning, the Alliance hopes to achieve a solid technical base that anyone can use to create indoor location-based mobile services on top of it. For consumers, this could mean receiving directions to personalised product promotions in stores, getting real-time navigation in a museum or other public place, or even getting the precise location of patients or doctors in hospitals.

For local service providers, indoor positioning could increase customer satisfaction by deploying resources to where and when it is needed.

If you're planning to create and indoor navigation solution of your own, or if you already have experience from creating indoor maps, we encourage you to join the Alliance. Or if that is not an option for you, make use of the results from the Alliance. This way, you directly make an impact and help out in the work to create a globally interoperable and user friendly indoor positioning experience!