Augmented Reality Indoor Navigation Using Handheld Devices

Augmented Reality Indoor Navigation Using Handheld Devices

Angelin Gladston (College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai, India) and Aadharshika Duraisamy (Anna University, Chennai, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJVAR.2019010101
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Any user can navigate outdoors by using online maps with the help of a GPS signal, but navigation in an indoor environment is difficult as the GPS signals can be weak inside a building. In this article, a system for providing a solution for indoor navigation with the help of augmented reality technology based on a computer vision approach is developed so as to provide navigational assistance to users in any new or unknown environment. This is done with an android based mobile phone application. This can be done by using augmented reality technology along with a computer vision-based approach to find where the user is and what is present in front of the user. Using this information, the user can get to navigate inside the building.
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Augmented Reality (AR) is an advanced technology based on the computer vision to integrate virtual augmentations with the real world. This technology superimposes the computer-generated objects over a real-world scene that is captured in real-time by the camera. The computer-generated objects may be 2D or 3D graphics, text, and audio, point of interest (POI) or video which augment and integrate virtual objects with the physical world to reveal useful information to the user and help them to interact with the application in an easy and comfortable way. AR technology is used by an increasing number of people, both in industries and academics. To integrate objects, people as well as places from both the physical and virtual world together, AR aims to transform the way in which people explore their environments and how they will communicate, create and collaborate with each other.

Navigation has been an important subject of research. People have always been interested in developing technologies and applications that help them find their location, and navigate to desired destinations. According to the study observed on mobile phone users, around 95% of the users who own a smartphone device uses a mapping application at least once (Do, Blom & Gatica-Perez, 2011), meanwhile 80% of users use it more than 10 times during the period of survey, which indicates that maps are in everyday use for most of smartphone users. Navigation requires the knowledge of current position. The presence of the globally available technology such as GPS (Global Positioning System) has been a major driving force in the popularity of navigation applications for mobile devices. Further, GPS cannot be used in indoor environment due to its requirements for a clear line of sight with the earth-orbiting satellites for precise positioning. Current technology gives no direct answer to a low-cost, universal indoor mobile navigation system that requires no installation or dedicated infrastructure, as indoor navigation systems are often based on well-known technologies that use ultrasonic or radio frequencies and infrared (Kasprzak, Komninos & Barrie, 2013).

In airports, hospitals, or other public buildings, users find it difficult to navigate. Visitors often have to go through different paths in order to reach their individual goals. Alternative technologies such as Wi-Fi-based and image-based methods have also been proposed for indoor navigation. But, a definite solution for the industry has not been established. Because of the availability of smart mobile devices and location-aware applications like GPS, indoor navigation systems have become highly valuable for both personal and industrial use such as retail, entertainment, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Nowadays, several guiding systems such as overhead signposts, maps, or digital stationary terminals try to help people find their way. Individual solutions can only be provided with digital content, where the current position of the user in the building needs to be estimated. Many works have already been published by proving a considerable tracking technique in indoor environments with an accuracy of a few meters in certain regions. Technologies using signal strength triangulation approach allows to estimate a rough position. Other technologies, such as computer vision-based methods, provide higher accuracy in the positional tracking and also to estimate the orientation of a device in real time. But in computer vision technology, there are limitations concerning the tracking and reliability over time (Zhao, Yan, & Li, 2018). While walking through the environment using a mobile phone camera, it is possible to present individual augmented information to the user. Display devices, such as smartphones or some other devices like HoloLens, are able to localize the person while navigating. In this paper, we have provided a low-cost solution for AR indoor navigation, personal navigation assistance by means of arrows, marker less virtual augmentations and venue summarization at the entrance. Further we have made it into an android application, for ease of use in providing navigation instructions in real time.

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