Field Service Navigation Moves Indoors Thanks to New Indoor GPS Capabilities

GPS satellites are no longer limited by building walls thanks to the integration of various indoor tracking signals.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting lost. The feeling of not knowing which direction is which or where to go next can disorient even the most steadfast among us. Nowadays, though, such scenarios can easily be alleviated thanks to GPS. Almost all our mobile devices now come equipped with apps that give step by step, turn by turn directions to get you exactly where you need to go.

But while getting from site to site has been made simple with this technology, getting lost in sprawling indoor venues continues to be an issue. Multi-story office buildings, shopping centers, distribution centers and the like are met with little to no assistance direction wise. Interestingly enough, most service calls end up being conducted indoors, within such sprawling buildings.

Luckily there are companies that are now tackling the issue of getting lost in confusing buildings by bringing the power of GPS indoors. With indoor mapping and navigation, field service techs will be able to locate equipment due for service, other techs on the site, or even the contact person for the repair. Field service organizations can be assured time spent searching will turn into time spent working thanks to the new locating capabilities of indoor mapping.

Forward Thinking Companies Navigate Buildings with Skill with Indoor Tacking & Navigation Technology

Indoor mapping has been a hot commodity as of late, with companies like Apple and Google expending a good amount of resources to get ahead in the trend. Google, for instance, has collected indoor maps of Wembley Stadium in London and Caesars Palace in Vegas, while Apple recently acquired an indoor GPS startup. Indoor solutions have actually seen a range of technology used with some being based on Wi-Fi, ultrasound, cellular networks, inertial navigation, RFID, and combinations of these and others.

These new innovations have made it promising for some companies to make indoor mapping their specialty, like Meridian, who has taken its indoor tracking technology to hotels, hospitals, retail outlets, airports, subways, museums, and more. Their Meridian Editor is the first content management system for locations, allowing businesses to connect with their visitors through turn-by-turn directions and provide location-based services such as operations information, schedules, and more.

Infsoft, another company dedicated to indoor mapping technology, is also making great strides with indoor navigation capabilities. Infsoft’s navigation technology identifies positions within buildings without installing additional hardware in the building. The system can use a variety of sensors in mobile devices to evaluate location including the Wi-Fi, accelerometer, gyroscope, and Bluetooth. The positioning then switches automatically to GPS when leaving a building for a seamless navigation experience. The company has even integrated the information into interactive building maps as well as using your device’s camera to display augmented reality maps.

Other companies have been keen to add the new navigation technology to their arsenal as well. TomTom has partnered with leading indoor venue mapping collection company Micello to expand its mapping infrastructure to the indoors. And Trimble’s TIMMS equipment allows organizations to map entire buildings thanks to its georeferencing scanning. Using LiDAR and spherical video it can create accurate real-life maps and models of indoor spaces and all of its contents including desks, chairs, stairs, and doors.

Field Service Navigation Gears Up for the Great Indoors

Just as finding your way outside has important implications for field service organizations, so too does finding your way indoors. For field techs entering massive buildings or manufacturing centers, indoor position systems could prove extremely valuable. Technicians on service calls can often spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find costumers when arriving on site, causing frustrations to heighten and service quality to drop.

In the future you can expect that finding an asset, room, or person will be available through your mobile device. Besides this, indoor locating could be valuable for other field needs as well, such as finding other techs on the job, something that could be especially hard in sprawling indoor venues like hospitals, schools, or offices. A tech could easily sync up his device to track the others and find exactly where they are.

Indoor locating could also alert the tech to every machine in the building, and with advancing IoT sensors, the machines could then display the last service date, current health, or potential operating problems. Seeing all of this in map form would make for easy and efficient site visits.

Indoor Field Service Techs Gain a New Ally with Advanced Indoor GPS Capabilities

Field service techs’ jobs are unique because they can be sent anywhere for a job, that often means indoors as well as outdoors. While many conveniences have been afforded for getting workers to the jobsite, once they’re there it can be difficult for them to navigate within the building. Indoor GPS for field service is a solution that creates consistency for service techs from site to site. The ability to bring navigation and tracking power inside will make techs’ jobs easier and more efficient, and in turn so will your field service organization’s operations.

Better Together: Why Service Organizations Should Consider Unified Fleet and Service Technician Management

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