Nokia Research is working on making Bluetooth 4.0 provide indoor location services to users, EETimes reported. To this effect, it has showed off its work in progress to 30 companies that include chipmakers and service providers in the hopes of creating a group. It aims to set global standards for indoor navigation services by 2013.
A new Location Extension protocol would be implemented into Bluetooth 4.0 and could be made a standard by Bluetooth Special Interest Group in about 18 months. A prototype room with a Bluetooth Low Energy antenna array was set up, where it tracked a device for Bluetooth tags. It uses triangulation to make 3D maps of a room. The tags could be placed into existing Wi-Fi access points and be relatively inexpensive, Fabio Belloni, principal researcher at Nokia's radio systems lab believes.
Just yesterday, Google introduced Google Maps 6 for Android devices that has indoor information for several locations in the US, such as Atlanta International, Chicago O'Hare, and San Francisco International airports as well as the Mall of America and certain Bloomingdale's, Home Depot, IKEA, and Macy's. There are also locations in Japan and elsewhere in the world. Unlike this concept, however, it relies on GPS and cell tower triangulation for location information.