If you've been to a museum in the past year and change, chances are you've been coerced into ponying up an extra five bones for some sort of handheld apparatus. Supposedly, these things accompany patrons and enhance the experience, but more often than not, you're stuck with a grimy audio device that tells you little more than you brother Bob, who is undoubtedly tagging along behind and educating everyone in a 50 foot radius. Folks who choose to spend their time waltzing through the Museum of Industrial Culture in Nuremberg, however, have it better. The Fraunhofer
IIS has developed a new technology for WLAN-based positioning, and unlike conventional GPS approaches, Awiloc actually works indoors. As the story goes, visitors to the museum can grab a handheld that follows their movement and then shows them what they're facing (or aren't facing, for that matter) in detail. Of course, they could also use the tracking data to see which exhibits were drawing the most attention if they were smart, but how exactly would the privacy advocate in you feel about that?