NIST Competition Hunting for Indoor GPS Apps

The Commerce Department agency is sponsoring a competition, PerfLoc, to generate the best apps from the developer community. Developers have until Aug. 17, 2017, to submit their entries.

A new NIST Challenge seeks smartphone apps for indoor navigation -- apps that would analyze data from smartphone sensor readings, radio frequency signal strengths, and GPS fixes to help firefighters and other users find their way inside unfamiliar buildings. The Commerce Department agency is sponsoring a competition, PerfLoc, to generate the best apps from the developer community, with developers given until Aug. 17, 2017, to submit their entries.

There are no smartphone apps for indoor navigation, but new data collected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology may help to solve the problem, according to the agency, which reports that a NIST-headed research team spent more than 18 months collecting data from four different smartphone models to facilitate the development of indoor navigation apps. Indoor localization tools could help emergency responders find victims—or each other—when seconds count and could assist with locating specific works of art in large museums or misplaced equipment in hospitals, factories, or warehouses, according to NIST's announcement of the competition.

"The user community has expressed the need for careful testing of indoor localization solutions," said Nader Moayeri, NIST's principal investigator on the project. "Fire departments, for example, strongly desire ways to find a comrade who's fallen inside a burning building and who may die because he cannot determine the exit location due to low visibility from smoke or some other reason. Fire departments need to know how well these solutions are going to work before they invest their limited financial resources in them."

The announcement reported the Federal Communications Commission has estimated more than 10,000 lives can be saved annually with better and timely location information for 911 calls placed from cellphones, many of which are made from indoor locations.

NIST is offering cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 to the top three submissions. The grand prize winner will be flown to a conference in Japan to present the winning idea and do a live demonstration of the app. "Of course, the biggest reward will not be the cash prize," Moayeri said. "The prestige that goes with it will matter to the designer."

Product Showcase

  • Safety Shower Test Cart

    The Safety Shower Test Cart speeds up and simplifies emergency shower tests, ensures you stay in compliance with OSHA regulations, and significantly reduces testing costs. With 7 unique features, the cart makes testing easy, effective, and efficient. You can test water clarity, flow, temperature, and spread—all at the same time! Most safety shower testing kits create a mess, take too much time to use, and don't fully help you stay in compliance with OSHA & ANSI standards. Transform the way you test emergency showers with Green Gobbler Safety. Read More

  • AirChek Connect Sampling Pump

    Stay connected to your sampling with the SKC AirChek® Connect Sampling Pump! With its Bluetooth connection to PC and mobile devices, you can monitor AirChek Connect pump operation without disrupting workflow. SKC designed AirChek Connect specifically for all OEHS professionals to ensure accurate, reliable flows from 5 to 5000 ml/min and extreme ease of use. AirChek Connect offers easy touch screen operation and flexibility. It is quality built to serve you and the workers you protect. Ask about special pricing and a demo at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. Read More

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. Read More

Featured

Artificial Intelligence