Nokia: Location Via White Space

We take a look at a three-year research project from Nokia to use TV white spaces to determine indoor location.

Nokia is using TV white spaces to determine indoor location. The three-year research project provides wireless networking and location-based information on unused tv spectrum. At the Imperial War Museum near Cambridge, UK, researcher Scott Probasco has set up a network.

As Probasco roams the floor of the hangar his Nokia N9 detects his location and pushes him information about the different planes.

The test is part of the Cambridge TV White Spaces Trial, which has brought together a consortium of 17 leading technology and media companies to Cambridge.

GPS works fine outdoors, but their 1.6 GHz frequencies don’t penetrate indoors well. The lower band television frequencies can.

Currently, most indoor location is based on WiFi positioning. There are several commercial providers of this type of service, including Google, Navizon and Skyhook Wireless.

At Where Conference 2012, Urban Airship announced a partnership with Meridian, which makes apps that guide smartphone users through indoor venues, such as malls, bookstores and museums.

Meridian has a new service to deliver geotargeted push notifications. Called Segments, the service marries the company’s platform for deploying real-time messages and in-app purchase content with geospatial data amassed by SimpleGeo, a startup acquired by Urban Airship in October.

With the ability to know an individual’s location and context, not just where they are right now but where they are over time, you end up with a powerful combination of insight, explains Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton

  • A sports media company can send an offer to receive commentary from the Phillies dugout to users tagged ‘team: Phillies’ attending a Phillies/Red Sox game located in ‘Fenway Park’.
  • A movie theater chain can send a ‘Hunger Games tickets go on sale in 12 hours’ message to users tagged ‘customer: ClubCardHolder’ and ‘preference: OpeningNight’, rolling out delivery based on users’ time zones.
  • A news and entertainment company can offer a Guide to NYC Nightlife to users tagged ‘hometown: Seattle’ and ‘device: iPad’ who are currently located in Lower Manhattan.
Written by: Luke Pensworth

Luke is the managing editor and site manager of Dailywireless. As a wireless enthusiast/consumer, he reviews a lot of services based on his own experience. Disgruntled as he may be, he tries to keep his articles as honest as possible.