GPS-inspired technology may soon help you navigate inside buildings

Posted at 3:54 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 17:45:06-04

We have all been there at one time or another, finding ourselves lost driving to a new place. Most of us then turn to GPS to get back on track.             

Now, that same technology is helping people when they lose their way inside.

Only News 5 caught up with the Cleveland company making it happen.

"There's huge demand to bring outdoor-like functionality with GPS indoors," said Mike Drozda, LogicJunction.

However, there are challenges to move what's commonplace in our cars into another setting.

"The main challenge being that GPS uses satellites and you can't get a view to the sky from indoors," said Mark Jowell, LogicJunction.

Now there is a way to provide the same type of navigation experience without satellites.

"It's a fundamentally game-changing technology," said Jowell.

Beachwood based software company, LogicJunction, teamed up with a tech start-up in Finland to use a building's magnetic footprint, along with sensors inside smart phones, to track a person's position indoors.

"We feel this technology can make a fundamental difference to people's indoor experience," said Jowell.

Right now, News 5 has learned a medical system in Cleveland is testing out the technology to help its patients navigate their facility.

"We've all been lost in big spaces, especially complicated spaces where you have multiple floors, multiple buildings connected to one another," said Tricia Mazzola, LogicJunction.

The technology looks no different from what we are used to seeing on our phones.

"It will give them a green path, show a blue dot where they need to go and guide them all the way to their destination," said Drozda.

While this new app helps people find their way inside, it also allows hospitals to track patient flow and improve their performance.

"Technology, like with so many other things makes it quick, easy, efficient and enhance the experience you can't do yourself," said Jowell.

News 5 is not yet allowed to reveal which hospital system here in Cleveland is testing out this new technology, but we do know Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida just rolled it out.

So far, there have been more than 1,000 downloads to help patients there navigate the 1.5 million square foot facility.