You wouldn't be surprised if the military was using local geomagnetic field characteristics in order to search for underwater submarines. But it's another thing altogether when this type of technology can be put right into your smartphone for completely new uses. That's is what IndoorAtlas has done; by using a similar principle they enable indoor navigation without any anchoring to WiFi nodes. Now they tell is they have just closed roughly €500 000 in funding from both local and US investors.
We got together for an interview with Janne Haverinen for more information on the deal and their progress since July last year. According to Haverinen, the investment is still focused on R&D work and also in order to establish a presence in the US. Of course, given that this technology is unique, they also need to spend quite a lot of capital on protection of their IP rights.
Frankly, given the uniqueness of the technology, we are surprised that this round of financing doesn't have any more zeros attached to it. After all, with something like this you need to go out and conquer and do it fast. At least the company is thinking global and Haverinen noted that KoppiCatch was of great help to institute that attitude:
"The most valuable thing has been that they [KoppiCatch] gave us the right attitude to be global from the day one. They have also been a great help in arranging the funding, and pushing us forward. We have noticed that being a startup means constant change, whether we are talking about R&D, technology, or market strategy. The most difficult thing has been the technology itself as it is not something you can do just like that. However, it has been very rewarding to do something nobody has done before."
The company tells us they have come a long way from early prototypes, and is now able to start a number of commercial pilots. IndoorAtlas is also opening up the platform to selected developers around the globe to test their tools.
Our last article focused mainly on the technology but this time we wanted to find out what the monetization plan would be for Indooratlas. According to Haverinen, the idea is to license the technology platform to developers and that they are not going to enter the app building market themselves, only if for demonstration purposes. Some vertical integrations are also on the map.
Currently in order to use this technology you need a high end smartphone such as a Galaxy S3 or an iPhone. They have also been experimenting with tablet computers and are happy with the accuracy overall. Although Haverninen did mention some limitations of the iOS system compared to Android.
How does it work exactly?