from the running-the-maze dept.
MrSeb writes "Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland has created an indoor navigation system (IPS) that uses the Earth's innate magnetic field to ascertain your position — just like a homing pigeon or spiny lobster. According to IndoorAtlas, the company spun off by the university to market and sell the tech, its system has an accuracy of between 0.1 and 2 meters. The Finnish IPS technology is ingenious in its simplicity: Basically, every square inch of Earth emits a magnetic field — and this field is then modulated by man-made concrete and steel structures. With a magnetometer (compass), which every modern smartphone has, you can first create a magnetic field map — and then use that map to navigate the shopping mall, underground garage, airport, etc. Compared to most other IPSes, which require thousands of WiFi or Bluetooth base stations to achieve comparable accuracy, IndoorAtlas' infrastructure-free approach sounds rather awesome."
"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world."
-- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS