Indoor Navigation Assisted by Augmented Reality

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Digital Media Technology
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Master's Programme in ICT Innovation
69 + 18
In recent years, indoor positioning was only possible with dedicated devices, but it is now becoming more feasible with the wider availability of powerful smartphones. However, indoor positioning remains challenging. The dimensions of indoor space are considerably smaller than the roads outdoors; hence, greater accuracy is required to provide a similar experience. Additionally, a building acts as an obstruction to the GPS signals causing accuracy to be worse indoors than outdoors. To overcome this challenge, Nimble Devices is offering a Bluetooth-based framework that enables accurate positioning indoors. In addition to traditional 2D maps, Nimble Devices is interested in the possibilities of using augmented reality to provide more intuitive navigation. Consequently, this thesis analyzes the different ways of performing indoor positioning and examines several augmented reality techniques. The use of augmented reality-enhanced navigation is evaluated by building two mobile test applications. The first application tested and qualified the position and heading data of Nimble Devices framework. The second application utilized the framework to perform augmented reality navigation indoors. Thereafter, a survey quantified the results of the augmented reality navigation. The results were evaluated in different types of environments, such as open areas, corridors, and combinations thereof. After evaluating the environments, the results of the applications were compared to gain insight into the correlation of the position data and the user experience. The results of this thesis demonstrate that: 1) in closed environments, the position error is less than in open environments with the framework converging in closed environments quicker to the correct position of the user; 2) the position and heading errors are negatively correlated to the interpretation of augmented reality navigation?the lower the error, the better the perception; 3) if the position error and the heading error are respectively less than 1.78 meters and 24.06 degrees, than the augmented reality navigation is considered useful for navigation.
Vuorimaa, Petri
Thesis advisor
Ilola, Tuomas
augmented, reality, indoor, navigation, positioning
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