Section: Application Domains

Pedestrian Navigation

A number of factors are changing our thinking of an accessible town, namely the open data movement exemplified by OpenStreetMap, MEMS sensors embedded in mobile phones (accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes), web and Augmented Reality technologies, increase in processing power of mobile phones. All these changes are allowing us to build energy efficient urban pedestrian navigation systems. These systems can now be based on Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and will run on mobile phones with customized embedded geographical data, a routing engine, and real time queries to urban information systems.

Richer and more precise AR mobile applications in such fields as cultural heritage visits, outdoor games, or guidance of people with disabilities will be enabled by MMG navigation, i.e. the join use of micro, macro and global navigation.

Micro-navigation builds upon embedded software ability to create a greater awareness of the immediate environment, using texture-based tracking or vision algorithms and relating this information to map and IMU data. Micro-navigation includes avoiding obstacles, locating a clear path in the proximate surroundings or at a complex crossing, finding objects and providing absolute positioning using known landmarks or beacons. Micro-navigation works at a precision level of a few centimeters by using predefined landmarks.

Macro-navigation refers to the actions required to find a route in a larger, not immediately perceptible environment, and builds upon carefully designed pedestrian ways incorporating speech instructions, audio guidance, environmental queries and IMU instructions among other things. Macro-navigation works at a precision level of one step using carefully designed routes with map-matching instructions.

Global navigation is based on an absolute global localization system like the GPS. Its precision is that of a few meters if used in a adequate geographical environment where data from external sensors is accessible. It can be used to bootstrap macro-navigation.

There is a duality relation between micro-navigation and macro-navigation. Micro-navigation is based on a localization system giving an absolute position which makes it possible to compute a relative position with respect to the planned route. Macro-navigation is based on a localization system giving a relative position which allows to compute an absolute position on the route through a process called map-matching. As a consequence, this two kinds of navigation complement and enhance each other.