Skyhook CEO: Discussing the (Real) Bottleneck of Indoor Location

Ted Morgan
Ted Morgan
GPS Business News this week spoke about indoor location with Ted Morgan, CEO of Skyhook Wireless the pioneer of Wi-Fi-based location systems.

GPS Business News: there are a lot of talks these days about indoor geo-location, what is your take on the current state of the market?
Ted Morgan: My vision is that nothing is fundamentally different from where the market was some years ago. For us the goal has always been to provide location both indoor and outdoor and remedy to the lack of location indoor where there is now GPS coverage. This is our typical use case and our technical heritage.

GPS BN: What is Skyhook specifically offering for “precise“ indoor location?
TM: We are actually working quite a lot with venue owners. The first level is that they can supply us with the location of their access points to help us improve the accuracy of our database which then will offer a location accuracy between 5 to 8 meters. Every device that has Skyhook on it will get this level of accuracy with very little work.

Thus far we have received the location of 200,000 access points (APs) that have been manually provided by these venue owners.

Typically it takes us 24 hours to integrate these precise locations of APs into our database. if you have a conference or trade show and you send us your data and it will be in the system the next day. And this is completely free.

The second level is something that is more in line with what you hear from other companies. This is where we do a detailed site survey and establish a radio map of the premise ourselves with dedicated tools. In that case it takes obviously more time but the precision is down to 3-5 meters.

GPS BN: How much do you price that second level of precision?
TM: Well, so far we primarily have done that for free. At the end of the day it does improve our service overall. We have put some particular efforts on the South West of the United States for a number of properties.

GPS: What is the biggest bottleneck today?
TM: the biggest bottleneck is that venue owners are concerned about cost and control, meaning the control they can keep or not about location in their in-door premises. They have concerns with their data and how it is used.

One of the biggest concerns I hear is concerns about Google mapping their location then using Google’s comparative shopping tools to tells vistors where to find the same things cheaper.


Monday, November 19th 2012

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