At the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco last week, HERE demonstrated how the power of its location offering can fit into almost any connected device. We spoke to HERE developer advocate Richard Sueselbeck and marketing manager Alex Osaki to learn more.
“HERE has a long history with Samsung,” explains Alex, “and location services from HERE are available in many of its devices.” The range of Samsung devices serviced by HERE goes from Android smartphones, to phones and wearables using Tizen, to the new Samsung Connect Auto, a device which, Alex says, “can turn any car into a smart car.”
This breadth of different product offerings suits HERE well. Two of the demonstrations that were shown at the conference are all about how the HERE Location Platform can add value in the most unexpected places.
Richard demonstrated a novel use for HERE Venue Maps. “The Venue Maps API allows users access to not only the maps, but also the attributes of all the different items and places shown on those maps,” he tells us.
The demo takes the information that comes out of the API and then connects that to a 3D printer, to build an accurate scale model of the Moscone Center itself, or any other mapped venue that’s chosen.
It’s visually impressive, but Richard says it was pretty simple to put the parts together: “It takes very little code – about 100 lines – to make this work. We wanted to be able to show developers that they can get started very quickly and access very sophisticated data through simple-to-use APIs.”
Alex has been working on a second demonstration, built using nothing more sophisticated than a $15 Arduino board and a few blocks of LEGO. The secret sauce is a connection to live routing APIs from HERE.
“The device is hooked into five locations in the area around the convention center,” says Alex. In real time, the device reveals the best way to get to each of those locations.
“One location is only a few miles away, and it would normally be a short drive. Yet the device will recommend that you take a bicycle rather than a car – because there’s a one-way street en-route that can be circumvented with a bike, but not a car. Another is across the Bay Bridge and, depending on the time of day, and the current traffic level, it will recommend a train rather than a car as the fastest way to be there.”
Again, the demo shows that even the humblest device can become a valuable location instrument, connected to the supercomputing power of the HERE Location Platform with a few lines of code.
“We hope these demonstrations will spark new ideas in developers as to how they can leverage location in their own creations. We think we’ll be surprised by people creating use cases we’ve never considered,” says Alex.
They’re also a demonstration of two ways HERE claims a place at the table in the fast-emerging Internet of Things (IoT) space. “IoT is about objects in the real world,” says Alex. “We want to know where those objects are; what’s around them; where they’re going and the best ways for them to get there. With HERE technology anybody can location-enable any product.”