Trying Out Indoor Navigation Using Inertial Sensing

IEEE Spectrum tests a sensor-laden smartphone that maps where GPS can’t

3 min read
Our reporter finds her way around the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Taipei, using a prototype smartphone that can navigate without GPS.
Photo: Bill Chen

21 November 2012—At no point did the kung-fu masters in Ang Lee’s film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon need a navigation system to locate targets. As a kung-fu film fan with a bad sense of direction, however, I was happy to have an experimental new indoor navigation system guide me through the exhibition “King Hu: The Renaissance Man,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei last August. ( Hu’s 1971 film, A Touch of Zen, was one of the inspirations for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)

As anyone who’s ever been lost in a multistory shopping center or parking garage knows, GPS doesn’t work indoors. So Internet giants like Google, telecom operators, and smartphone makers are working on indoor navigation.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida

What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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