Retail landscape

Why Precision Matters for Indoor positioning and mapping

We were pleased to be invited to co-present a webinar with Carto, the mapping intelligence platform, about the future of indoor mapping & the role that next generation positioning technology can play in a range of indoor use cases.

Why is quality & accuracy of location data important?

Today practically all smartphones, wearables and vehicles have some sort of positioning capability built in - usually based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) - allowing us to accurately pinpoint our location and use a variety of location-based services. While the accuracy of these systems are good enough for basic use cases in many outdoor environments, they are not nearly accurate enough when moving indoors.

As consumer expectations change with the growth of services such as food delivery, ride sharing and point-to-point navigation, they are demanding more accurate context-based information indoors. You have perhaps experienced this when requesting a taxi only for it to arrive far from where we actually waiting due to the inability of our device to accurately pinpoint our indoor location.

Using an industry example, the holy grail for retailers is to understand where exactly customers are within a store, what specific products they are viewing and for how long. Why did they pause at a specific point or follow a certain path within a shopping centre? This is similar to the sort of analytics common amongst online retailers and is currently being replicated in store environments using radio (WiFi, RFID, BLE, UWB) and light (LiFi, IR, CCTV, cameras) based systems.

While these systems offer a greater level of accuracy for indoor spaces, they have limitations - they require additional infrastructure to be installed and maintained, and they often require custom app download.

In order to improve the accuracy of Indoor Mapping in these and other scenarios, FocalPoint use sensor fusion - intelligently combining the wealth of data being generated by the myriad of sensors now commonplace within the technology we use, carry, and wear. This means that instead of using simply radio and light based systems as described they can also leverage data from sources such as the barometer, microphone, and inertial sensors resulting in a more accurate estimate of actual positioning indoors - horizontal and vertical.

With this greater level of accuracy comes the potential for much richer products and services - from safety, to retail, to wayfinding.

Read Carto's blog in full here.

The following use cases were discussed:


  • How should we price retail units using foot traffic data?
  • Where should we place outdoor advertising within my mall?
  • How should we adapt our opening hours according to foot traffic?
  • How should we change layouts to drive more traffic to food courts?
  • Where should we push promotions to lift campaign ROI?


  • How can I keep my workers safe across complex facilities?
  • What are the right paths and processes to automate?
  • Where have visitors been, who have they met?

If you'd like to better understand how indoor mapping can harvest better data to support your business objectives, please get in touch with the team.