The world of IoT is rich and varied, with entire constellations of solutions all ready to make our everyday lives that little bit smarter.
At IoT World, the annual event in California celebrating all things connected, HERE will be in attendance to showcase some of its own offerings. We spoke with Alex Osaki at HERE, who ran through some of the solutions on show.
Network positioning and routing
The first demonstration we touched upon was network positioning.
Alex says, “HERE has a number of IoT services that can be used on any internet connected device — from a mobile device to a smart car. Our demo at IoT World shows a marker sat on a printed map of Santa Clara (where the event is held) and, as you move the marker around, it picks up and displays your geo-coordinates, including longitude and latitude.”
“Once you’ve done that, it can tell you how long it would take to get from your current position to the destination shown on the marker. This illustrates how we can enable location services on more or less any device. Anything that can be connected to the internet can tell you where you are, where you’re going and how long it takes to get there.”
The solution determines this position using HERE network positioning APIs. It can also tap into a wireless hotspot, should you not be armed with GPS. The hotspot will then be added to the constantly updated HERE database, which now includes about two billion hotspots.
Alex adds, “Essentially, we’re showing that if you’re building an IoT device using HERE services, you don’t need to have a GPS chip. You can create something great, with really simple technologies.”
Future Mobility Visualiser
Next up is the Future Mobility Visualiser, which was first demonstrated at CES 2017.
The demonstration allows users to look at a smart city and visualise its intricacies using analytics. The demonstration is built into an interactive table, which presents the captured data from a city in an easily accessible, digestible platform.
On the table, users can place interactive chips around different road networks, delving into information like traffic speed compared with the actual speed limit.
Alex says, “This can show how people are moving around in a city, what decisions they’re making, and can illustrate trends to help developers model smart city solutions. So, what if car ownership declines? What does the smart city look like in a traffic jam?”
“If all of these location elements are mapped and accessible, businesses hoping to innovate in smart cities can do more modelling and anticipation, helping them see what the information means and how different scenarios may impact it.”
Indeed, this is a showcase of some of the capabilities of the HERE Open Location Platform, with a video demonstration also available for attendees looking to find out why it’s hoped to be the leading destination for location services.
Automated indoor surveying (with a robot)
This demonstration is a prototype involving a robot that looks like a vacuum cleaner. If that doesn’t pique your interest, Alex can tell you more:
“When HERE vehicles drive around, mapping a city, they use LiDAR sensors to generate a point cloud (a data set composed of 3D data). The sensors send out a laser that essentially maps the city by creating a mesh of the vehicle’s surrounding environment and obstacles. What we are demonstrating is 3D point cloud mapping, and we’re using a small robot with a 3D camera to do so.”
The robot will be driven by the HERE team, and will actually build out a 3D point cloud of the area around the booth as it moves around. Attendees will be able to see this small part of the venue being mapped in real time.
Alex says, “Attendees will be able to see the ease with which this technology can be used to create indoor maps of say, a shopping mall, or an airport. The sensors will even know to disregard any transient objects — like people moving around the booth.”
“We want to show a live venue map being built, and highlight that automation, automated driving and automated indoor mapping are all pieces of the same puzzle.”
Indoor tracking can be a vital IoT tool for the transport and logistics industry, offering the ability to better understand and keep tabs on products in transit.
The demonstration, which also appeared at last week’s Transport & Logistics conference in Munich, follows five packages en route from Berlin to Santa Clara.
Alex explains: “During the demo we can see the transition points of the products — from departure, to loading onto a train, to arrival. Upon arrival, indoor tracking and positioning will show the package being whisked through O’Hare Airport on an indoor venue map.”
This will provide logistics managers with the ability to better estimate a shipment’s arrival time, saving both time and money.
Last, but not least, is a demonstration of indoor positioning. This showcases a hugely important feature upon which others can also be built.
The demonstration is a radio map of the venue which will be viewable at the stand. Alex concludes:
“The map will be updated with information on the trade show as the day goes on, showing that regardless of where you are, HERE can map that venue, pinpoint your location, and share useful, up-to-date information.”
Will you be attending IoT World? Come and visit our booth and see our Head of IoT, Leon Van de Pas, giving an insightful presentation at 13:40 on Wednesday May 17th at the Executive Summit.