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Researchers develop a GPS free navigation system

by on10 July 2012

Just after the EU invested a fortune in Galileo

A team of Finnish researchers has created an indoor navigation system (IPS) that uses the Earth’s innate magnetic field to ascertain your position.

According to IndoorAtlas, the company spun off by the university to market and sell the technology, its system has an accuracy of between 0.1 and 2 meters. The system is based on the idea that every part of the Earth emits a magnetic field which gets modulated by man-made concrete and steel structures.

If you can map of these magnetic fields, accurate navigation is simple.  All you need to do is make a magnetic field map and navigate it with a smartphone. The company says that most smartphones ship with a built-in magnetometer which are sensitive enough to create magnetic field maps that have an accuracy of 10 centimeters. It seems to only work on built up areas and around museums. Although with the right extensive mapping it could be used on a larger scale. Who would have predicted Google Maps a few years ago?

Last modified on 10 July 2012
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