Apple mapping patent provides seamless outdoor/indoor location determination

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Apple on Tuesday was awarded a patent for harnessing onboard iOS device sensors to automatically switch from one location subsystem, such as GPS and indoor wireless gateway proximation, to another seamlessly and without user interaction.




As granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,066,207 for "Managing states of location determination" describes a system by which portable devices leverage location, communications and other sensors to gather information that can help determine state of motion and venue. In exemplary embodiments, an iPhone is capable of providing seamless directions from a car, outdoors or in buildings.

In practice, a user device determines its current state using a first sensor subsystem. For example, an iPhone gathers location information outdoors through reception of GPS satellite signals. Apple refers to unobstructed outdoor states as venue-independent. As with the current Maps app, mapping servers provide navigation and real-time location information.

Moving into a building or other areas in which GPS is unavailable defers device operation to a venue-specific state. In lieu of GPS, structures might contain wireless access points whose RF signals might be stored in a fingerprint location database. Alternatively, a change in state may be determined when an iPhone senses barometric pressure fluctuations denoting changes in elevation between floors of a building. Data from onboard gyroscope, hygrometer, microphone, accelerometer or light sensors also inform the process.


Source: USPTO


Importantly, the transition procedure expects a second subsystem to be capable of rendering a more accurate location estimation than the first. Transitioning between a weakening GPS signal to a stronger indoor RF signal, for example, is sufficient to perform a handoff.

Switching from a venue-independent state to a venue-specific state, the mobile device pull data for a venue map like an indoor map. In such situations, specialized venue maps are provided for pathing through hallways, rooms, walls, offices and other identifiable features.




While not mentioned by name, Apple's iBeacon microlocation technology would seamlessly into today's patent. Bluetooth-enabled iBeacons could theoretically replace wireless access points in Apple's document, providing accurate location data while providing an interactive indoor mapping experience.

Apple has yet to roll out consumer facing technology acquired through its purchase of indoor mapping startup WiFiSLAM in 2013. Today's patent, however, is an indication the company still plans to expand services beyond street maps.

Apple's patent for a self-determining, venue-based location system was first filed for in December 2012 and credits Lukas M. Marti, Robert Mayor, Shannon M. Ma.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    roakeroake Posts: 783member
    Google is far ahead of them! With Google Nest thermostats acting as remote data points and Google Nest "security" cameras performing the visual mapping, you'll be able to get a guided tour of your house complete with first-person views of it all. Buy Google Nest products and you'll be able to navigate your house more easily than ever. Google Android will be the first indoor mapping solution than can guide you from the back window to the teenage daughter's panty drawer.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,685member
    roake wrote: »
    Google is far ahead of them! With Google Nest thermostats acting as remote data points and Google Nest "security" cameras performing the visual mapping, you'll be able to get a guided tour of your house complete with first-person views of it all. Buy Google Nest products and you'll be able to navigate your house more easily than ever. Google Android will be the first indoor mapping solution than can guide you from the back window to the teenage daughter's panty drawer.

    Sounds sinister.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,682member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roake View Post



    Google is far ahead of them! With Google Nest thermostats acting as remote data points and Google Nest "security" cameras performing the visual mapping, you'll be able to get a guided tour of your house complete with first-person views of it all. Buy Google Nest products and you'll be able to navigate your house more easily than ever. Google Android will be the first indoor mapping solution than can guide you from the back window to the teenage daughter's panty drawer.



    What you wrote is pure Bullshit...

     

    Apple Maps is actually better than Google Maps because Apple presents its maps and navigation with a better UI , it is therefore more usable.

     

    With superior FlyOver and seamless street level view integration, better transit navigation, seamless indoor / outdoor integration coming to Apple Maps, Google Maps is toast and they know it.  It does not matter how much data and of what quality the data that Google has collected because if they can't present it properly  in a usable manner, it is useless.

     

    Google made a big mistake by withholding maps data from Apple and they will live to regret it.

     

    Update:

    Ohhhh wow, LOL.  I did miss the "satirical nature" of your post.  It was too early in the morning here... <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 4 of 11
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,328member
    Spot those who missed the satirical nature of the post they're responding to.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 764member
    I support Apple Maps and use it frequently, but there's room for improvement.

    In NYC this weekend, I was in Central Park and asked my Apple Watch, "How do I get to Lincoln Center?" (It's a 10-minute walk from where I was.) It began well, finding a destination, displaying it on my Watch, and allowing me to hit the "Start" button. But... when I began walking, the instructions kept saying "Proceed to Central Park West" -- that is, the Watch (or iPhone) were never able to confirm that my location was ON the route and ready to move to the next step.

    Is this due to tall buildings blocking GPS reception & positioning? That was what I was testing, actually.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    I used Apple Maps in Baltimore this last weekend. The driving directions were flawless and the map was beautiful. I felt proud to be an Apple customer.

    Now for the other shoe. While in Harrisburg, I asked Siri for all of the Rite-Aides around Oriole Stadium. That did not go well at all. Once I got to the Stadium though, Siri had no problems locating and mapping the stores.

    As I typed the above paragraph, I had the thought to rephrase my request to Siri by adding the word "stores". Viola! Siri returned the requested information. I do not remember using stores before. Context was missing from my request. ????
  • Reply 7 of 11
    maltamalta Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roake View Post



    guide you from the back window to the teenage daughter's panty drawer.

     

    So an article on Apple's mapping patent and the first thing your mind goes to is your teenage daughter's panty drawer? 

  • Reply 8 of 11
    Three things I hope for in Maps by iOS 10:
    1. Lane-guidance during navigation (I still have to use Google Maps for this unfortunately)
    2. Navigation inside malls, hospitals, and those giant freaking Wal Mart's, in which I can never find the right department
    3. Apple Maps for iCloud.com - a web service like "iWork for iCloud.com" that lets anyone use Apple Maps. I bet this would scare the poop out of Google but would be great for users

    And as a bonus, if they begin mapping the internal structure of buildings for indoor navigation, I'd like to see a jaw-dropping 3D visualization of buildings; kind of like zooming into those gray 3D models in cities while the map is tilted at an angle, but see the different floors highlight and split out if tapped. Here's hoping....
  • Reply 9 of 11
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    I've often wondered why Apple and others don't take advantage of powerful digital TV signals. They're strongest in big cities where GPS often fails. GPS signals come directly downward from satellites and are typically blocked by a building's upper floors. TV signals come horizontally and thus penetrate through windows and walls. Where one is strong, the other is weak and vice-versa. Together, they should reach almost everywhere.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,035member
    roake wrote: »
    Google is far ahead of them! With Google Nest thermostats acting as remote data points and Google Nest "security" cameras performing the visual mapping, you'll be able to get a guided tour of your house complete with first-person views of it all. Buy Google Nest products and you'll be able to navigate your house more easily than ever. Google Android will be the first indoor mapping solution than can guide you from the back window to the teenage daughter's panty drawer.

    That is because most Google customers are this inept they need a map of their home so they can find out where their daughters room is located so mom can put her panties away.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    ai46ai46 Posts: 56member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slprescott View Post



    I support Apple Maps and use it frequently, but there's room for improvement.



    In NYC this weekend, I was in Central Park and asked my Apple Watch, "How do I get to Lincoln Center?" (It's a 10-minute walk from where I was.) It began well, finding a destination, displaying it on my Watch, and allowing me to hit the "Start" button. But... when I began walking, the instructions kept saying "Proceed to Central Park West" -- that is, the Watch (or iPhone) were never able to confirm that my location was ON the route and ready to move to the next step.



    Is this due to tall buildings blocking GPS reception & positioning? That was what I was testing, actually.

    Wait, isn't the answer "Practice, Practice, Practice"?

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