Navigation inside the buildings like big shopping malls is difficult as you do not have the access to GPS signals. Solving this problem is an active area of research. For example, one of the possible solution can be to track the position of user by measuring the received signal power from Wifi terminals with known positions and powers.
However, an Israeli startup Shopcloud has come up with a completely different solution to the problem. It has developed a smartphone application that uses the built-in sensor of a mobile terminal to track its position. The application also has to be provided with the floor plan of the building. In order to prepare the floor plan first a spatial data for the building has to be gathered by a team. Once the floor plan is prepared it can be downloaded into the smartphone via internet. Now, after the downloaded the continued internet access is not necessary for tracking.
In fact, the application uses the visual information from the phone camera to locate the important landmarks in the building. The built in accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer measurements are also used to keep track of the movement of mobile position. The application can also recognize if the smartphone is held by someone else than the owner. The application has a tracking accuracy of about one meter. The application also uses four other tracking techniques which have been till now kept secret.
According to company executive Michael Bar Zeev, initially the floor plans are being prepared so that application will be available for 10 public location in Israel and 2oo locations in United States. The application can be run on an iPhone 4s and onward, Samsung galaxy S3, and a window smartphone version is also in the preparation.