Sunday, April 24, 2011

Upcoming market for indoor navigation

Nokia research labs recently launched a promotion video for a indoor navigation system. To be honest, even do the spread of blogposts and news items, this is not new. indoor navigation systems have been around for some time in both good and bad implementations. Some do work some do unfortunately work not so good. So what the big fuzz should be about is not the fact that Nokia is working on it, which is obviously and would be a suppress if they where not, the fuzz should be about that it is Nokia who is working on it and hopefully will make it to a product.

Reason that it is important that a company like Nokia is working on it is that it will be integrated in the new mobile products and that it most likely will trigger the competitors to also speedup the research on indoor navigation.

The next big thing could be indoor navigation. We have seen a giant step forward in outdoor navigation the past couple of years meanly due to the work done by TomTom, Garmin and Google. Google specially for creating Google maps and the integration into mobile phones and services. Applications, devices and all other kind of stuff is now location aware. Pictures taken with a mobile phone or a camera are now location aware and when you need to find your way around a city you can always rely on the navigation systems you carry in your pocket or which are integrated in your car.

Still a open field for improvement is when you are getting into a building a out of the reach of the GPS satellites. When you walk in an airport and need to find the way to, your gate, the toilet, a coffee corner, a shop, you have to turn to the old fashion of reading signs. When you are in a office you do normally not visit you have to find your way to the restaurant, the printer, the coffee corner, the desk of someone, a specific meeting room. When in a conference center you are always struggling to find your location.

Indoor navigation can make that a lot more easy. Imagine visiting the office of a customer for a project. In the beginning every consultant is struggling to find all kind of information to get started. Where do I find the printer room, where is this person located (and who is it), where can I find that conference room and where to grab a cup of coffee and a snack. This could all be resolved with indoor navigation. However this is also putting some stress on people maintaining the building. They will have to provide this information and specially in environments where people do not own their own desk it can be hard to keep track of who is sitting where.

For all those problems a solution can (and will) be provided in time and I strongly feel that indoor navigation will be the next big thing coming to the market. First as standalone apps created for airports and conference centers at a later stage for office buildings and shopping malls. At some point it will connect with social media networks to be able to share great indoor locations in somewhat the same way as you now see for outdoor locations with services like foursquare and similar services.

One big issue is that for indoor navigation you currently need a infrastructure to be able to do locate your position. You will need points in the building broadcasting a anchor point where for GPS you can make use of the satellites around the planet. This will slowdown the growth however it might be integrated with wifi spots. It would not come as a suppress to me if indoor navigation base stations will be in the future also broadcasting free (or commercial) WiFi.

Monday, April 11, 2011

google +1

The business Google is in is all about search and all about ranking the value of a page. This means it was only a matter of time before Google would show up with something like digg or a similar social bookmarking/ranking engine. This way google will not only be able to tell the people who use the search engine if the site they link to is interesting based upon a pagerank algorithm they are also able to check what the value of this site is based upon the social network of the person entering the search query.

In this form a social network will most likely be a little more wider than only the people you know and connect to with your Google profile. It will also include the people who have stated that they like the same pages as you do. This will possibly, read possibly, open a couple of new options for Google. They will improve their search and they expand the foundation for a social network. As we all know they are currently "at war" with Facebook and looking for ammunition.

This social bookmarking just came into beta testing and is called Google +1. In the below youtube movie you can see some more about this and who it works.

Google is running a site about the +1 option and this is telling us it will be available within search and within other websites on the web (not only google sites). So when it become available it will also be integrated into this weblog.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


I recently tried to update my Oracle Jdeveloper installation with some updates coming from Oracle. You can update your Jdeveloper installation by clicking "help" - "Check for Updates". I needed to install some updates including the "AIA composite application framework version 2.4" update. When selecting it a process is started and after that you are requested to restart your Jdeveloper installation. This should complete the process and you should be able to use the new version. However due to some reason the new functionality was not installed. When checking for updates again I also found the "AIA composite application framework version 2.4" update still in the list of updates to be installed.

After some time I found that if I started Jdeveloper from the command line I could see a error messages stating the following: "oracle.ideimpl.webupdate.task.TaskFailedException: Unable to read /Users/suntac/.jdeveloper/tmp/update/". When jdeveloper downloads updates it is storing it under a tmp/update folder as a .zip file. Upon looking into this location I found that the file was empty.

Thanks to William from the Oracle jDeveloper support team I was able to download the file myself by hand. You can check manually all the updates at the "Oracle Extensions for Oracle JDeveloper Update Center" which is located at . Now when you download the file you can again start the "check for updates" option under the help menu however no pick the option to select from a local file.

At this screen you can select the location of the zip file you just downloaded. You will again be asked to restart jdeveloper and now you will notice that the file is installed without any issue.