By Osma Ahvenlampi, SVP Engineering
Three weeks ago, when we announced the IndoorAtlas SDK 2.0 for Android and iOS, one of the major features we highlighted was its new ability to begin positioning automatically, without a pre-set venue or floor map initialization. In this post, we’ll go deeper to what that means, how it works, and how it can be best used in an application. We’ll also discuss some of the situations where this functionality can have surprising, or even undesirable behavior, and how can a developer work to avoid those if necessary.
If you’ve developed apps which use the Android or iOS platform location services, you’re probably quite used to simply being able to subscribe to location services from the operating systems’ location frameworks and and start receiving more or less accurate location information almost immediately. Well, apart from it not being all that accurate indoors, and sometimes taking quite a while to work because locking to a GPS signal can be a challenge. That’s why you’re looking at our technology, of course!
In the indoor space, being able to automatically locate a device is a bit more challenging. There is no global satellite signal, beacons are restricted by their identifiers to basically their owners only, cell tower signals aren’t all that precise for positioning, and wifi networks tend to move around. Our previous generation required the app to know ahead of time which venue and floor the positioning is performed in. This stood in way of offering the kind of experience we want to enable, so we had to find a way to overcome this. (more…)