This is one of those devil in the details things, but it would at least appear there is a slick new way for software companies offering Android digital signage software platforms to add indoor mapping for malls, campuses and other busy, confusing places.
A company called Here is offering up indoor mapping capability to Android developers. Their core market is, of course, smartphone and tablet apps. But what you can do with a smartphone, you can also do with an Android signage platform (save make phone calls and text friends).
HERE’s Mobile SDK enables developers to juice up both Android and iOS applications with potentially thousands of 3D venue maps.
The immersive 3D venues come to life through intuitive gestures like zoom, rotate and tilt. Users can easily rotate the map to match the direction from where they entered the venue to get a realistic picture of where the shops or gates are. Plus, they can switch between floors to see what’s on different levels or tap on stores for more details.
Software developers can build these capabilities into their own mobile apps, offering their users fully three-dimensional renderings of exactly what’s behind the doors or gates.
Access to venue maps requires initial online download, but, once loaded, the maps are cached locally to provide access even when offline.
HERE 3D Venue Maps cover:
- Nearly 13,000 venues in 85 countries
- 1 billion square meters (total footprint)
- Venues such as shopping malls, train stations, airports, universities, hospitals, sports stadiums, zoos and theme parks
With the Venue Maps feature of the Mobile SDK, developers can show 3D representations of the venues along with more detailed views of the interior such as floor numbers, the layout of each floor and tenant names.
The platform was first developed by Nokia. but the capability is now owned by German automakers.
I’ve no idea how easy or hard it would be to integrate maps, but if wayfinding is a big ask from your client base, this platform and content would seem a nice fit. It’s commercial, but the fee for consumer-facing apps is pretty reasonable at $60-$400 a month.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.