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