February 19, 2015
DOCOMO and ZENRIN DataCom Develop New Indoor Navigation Technology
— Combines smartphone motion sensors and map data for reliable indoor navigation —
TOKYO, JAPAN, February 19, 2015 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC., a personalized mobile solutions provider for smarter living, and ZENRIN DataCom Co., Ltd. announced today their joint development of a new indoor navigation technology that combines autonomous navigation based on built-in smartphone motion sensors and route-matching based on indoor maps, primarily for navigating in indoor environments where GPS does not work effectively.
As opposed to conventional beacon-based positioning-detection systems utilizing Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth® low energy (BLE), etc., the new indoor navigation technology utilizes motion sensors built into smartphones to detect the pedestrian's movements, such as walking straight forward, turning a corner or ascending/descending stairs. The data is then correlated to an indoor map using route-matching technology to locate the person's position and guide them to their destination.
The new technology uses changes in atmospheric pressure to detect when a person ascends/descends stairs, or uses an escalator or elevator. When such changes are detected, it automatically switches the map to the appropriate floor/level for seamless navigation between floors or indoor/outdoor environments.
The new technology enables accurate navigation as the user walks underground between subway lines, around indoor malls or in other indoor areas where GPS signals are not available for reliable navigation. As a result, the user can navigate seamlessly between outdoor and indoor environments using the new technology.
DOCOMO plans to offer a new indoor navigation feature as an add-on for its Android map application for smartphones and tablets, called "docomo map navi powered by its-mo navi," beginning from April in Japan. Initially, indoor navigation will be available in about 320 locations nationwide, including underground malls and stations.
- Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
- Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG Inc.
- All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMO provides innovative, convenient and secure mobile services that enable smarter living for each customer. The company serves over 65 million mobile customers in Japan via advanced wireless networks, including a nationwide 3G network and one of the world's first commercial LTE networks. Leveraging its unique capabilities as a mobile operator, DOCOMO is a leading developer of cutting-edge technologies for NFC mobile payments, mobile GPS, mobile TV, intuitive mobile assistance, environmental monitoring, smart grids and much more. Overseas, the company provides technical and operational expertise to eight mobile operators and other partner companies. NTT DOCOMO is listed on the Tokyo (9437) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. Please visit https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/ for more information.
About ZENRIN DataCom
ZENRIN DataCom, a member of the Zenrin Group, is a leading provider of maps, navigation and other location-based solutions in Japan. Headquartered in Tokyo, ZENRIN DataCom offers software and services to consumers, corporations and governmental institutions. Established in April 2000, ZENRIN DataCom began its business offering services only in Japan, utilizing map data provided by its parent company Zenrin, well known as a provider of one of the world's most detailed maps. Recently, ZENRIN DataCom has been expanding its business globally through a combination of its own-branded services "It's Nav," providing white label mobile navigation services to carriers and automotive OEM by leveraging technology and know-how in car, pedestrian, transit and bicycle based navigation cultivated in Japan. The company now offers a variety of navigation and multi-modal solutions (both pedestrian and automobile) in Japan, Taiwan and China, as well as throughout Southeast Asia, Oceania and the Middle East, and is currently working diligently to further expand its services throughout the globe.