DNP Digitalcom and Iwate Prefectural University Jointly Develop SDK with Indoor Positioning Function
DNP Digitalcom Co., Ltd. (DNP Digitalcom), a 100% subsidiary of Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) that provides electronic media driven solutions, and Iwate Prefectural University have jointly developed an embedded smart phone application Software Development Kit (SDK) that employs a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon to fix indoor positional information in a highly accurate manner. The new SDK will be launched September 25, 2015.
This SDK receives radio waves from multiple BLE beacons, and simultaneously measures their strength using a unique algorithm, to fix the present position of users in a highly accurate manner. And it has been made possible to achieve significant improvements in positioning accuracy in such locations as large indoor based atrium areas, where it has been extremely difficult, to date, to fix such positions. It has also been necessary to check radio wave conditions in advance and decide on the optimal installation of positional fixing beacons. As a result of the newly developed SDK, however, this is no longer necessary, meaning that it is possible to achieve significant reductions in work burdens in the pre-introduction stage.
Indoor locations where it is not possible to use Global Positioning Systems (GPS), such as large scale facilities with compound structures or railway stations, are generating increased needs for convenient and cheap BLE beacons for use on an indoor basis in systems designed for the smooth guidance of consumers and passengers. DNP Digitalcom has so far conducted data distribution services at airports and commercial facilities, as well as field tests using beacons in navigation services at railway stations. Stable navigation has been a difficult challenge, however, as with existing formats position fixing has been conducted with radio waves from a single BLE beacon, only.
In order to address this challenge, DNP Digitalcom and the Software Design Lab. of the Faculty of Software and Information Science at Iwate Prefectural University have jointly developed a navigational application SDK that simultaneously measures changes in radio wave strength of multiple BLE beacons to achieve highly accurate positioning. Public facilities, such as railway stations, have already decided to adopt the SDK in navigation systems.
- Automatically judges the direction in which users are heading
The application is capable of measuring changes in radio wave strength of multiple BLE beacons, allowing users to automatically judge the direction in which they are walking. For example, radio wave reception strength at two different locations - A and B – will differ in line with the movements of application users, and by measuring those fluctuations, allow them to judge in which direction they are heading.
- Floor positioning in indoor atrium spaces is now possible
Currently used indoor guidance navigation applications based on BLE beacons are only capable of inaccurate measurements of beacon radio wave strength due to radio wave fluctuations as result of building structure or the movement of people, making for low precision position measurements. The newly developed SDK is capable of receiving all radio waves from multiple BLE beacon within receivable range, and via the use of a unique algorithm that can accurately measure radio wave strength changes it is now possible to judge present locations in a highly accurate manner, even in spaces with atriums or within complicated structures.
- End to Texting While Walking !
As the new SDK does not rely on an electronic compass integrated into mobile terminals, and uses only BLE beacon radio waves, there is no need to constantly hold the terminal in the hand, as positioning is still possible while the terminal is kept in a pocket or a bag. This will help prevent instances of people causing accidents as a result of texting while walking.
Positioning SDK Licensing Fees: Annual fee of 500,000 yen per navigation application for use with either iOS or Android operating systems.
[Forward Looking Events]
DNP Digitalcom will offer the new SDK for navigation applications targeting facilities covering large spaces, such as public transportation facilities, for example railway stations and airports, along with complexes, such as large scale shopping centers. The Company is aiming for 300 million yen in annual sales from the SDK and related services in FY 2016. Looking ahead, the SDK will be used as a standard implementation on DNP-developed BLE beacons, and the Company targets further market penetration.