Businesses and consumers have begun to rely on their ability to use smartphones, tablets or similar mobile devices for immediate geospatial positioning (via GPS) and reliable navigation to public landmarks. Whether in the car or on foot, the screen of the phone is quickly taking the place of a paper map.
Unfortunately, when the user crosses the threshold of a building, into an urban canyon, or underground, their ability to rely on GPS is dramatically reduced. Alternate means of positioning and of navigation must come to the user's aid.
Given the heterogeneity of needs and plethora of possible approaches to addressing the needs, there may never be "only one" universally deployed, robust and cost effective solution for rapid user positioning indoor in all circumstances. In all likelihood, there will be a portfolio of capabilities in the mobile device and a variety of approaches available to the owners/managers of venues. Technology providers are in the process of revealing some of their strategies for addressing the needs of people who find themselves indoors. The providers need a real world environment and use case in which to conduct rigorous tests.
The purpose of this portal is to describe the testbed which provides participating entities the opportunity to deploy and to test some currently available or emerging indoor positioning and navigation solutions within the halls of the Gran Via venue, in Barcelona, Spain. The hosts of the testbed, GSMA and the Fira Barcelona, wish to assess the suitability of emerging technologies for use at Mobile World Congress 2013, as well as other future events, and to further the development of the mobile industry.