Indoor Location Systems

WiFi based

  1. WiFiSLAM aquired by Apple: Apple acquires Wifislam
  2. Navizon
  3. Redpin (Open Source)
  4. infsoft

WiFi & Bluetooth based

  1. MagicMaps

Ultrasound based

  1. Shopkick

Ultrasound + RF based

  1. Cricket

Magnetic anomaly-based

  1. Indoor Atlas

RFID (active) based

  1. OpenBeacon (Open Source)

Blog entry on passive solutions. The industry term for this is RTLS (Real time location system): Passive RFID providing RTLS Real-or-hype

Paper on “Decimeter-Level Localization with a Single WiFi Access Point

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Building a live Google Earth

Two high definition cameras fixed to the International Space Station will soon offer real time pictures from space to everyone.

That promise is made by the Canadian startup UrtheCast . According to the BBC they will launch two high resolution video cameras to the International Space Station ISS on board a Russian Proton supply ship early next year. Cosmonauts are already in training to manoeuvre the bulky equipment from the capsule into the station and for the space walk necessary to install the cameras on the outside structure.

The cameras will offer a resolution of about 1m per pixel. According to UrtheCast you won’t quite see the tiles but all the detail in your garden.

The basic service on offer will be free – with users able to log into the site and see live or archived images and video of anywhere on Earth. With the ISS orbiting the planet around 15 times a day, sooner or later it’ll be above something you want to look at.

UrtheCast plans to give software developers free access to its code, allowing them to develop new applications such as games or utilities.

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What Makes Paris Look Like Paris?

Researchers from France and the USA have developed an algorithm that analyzes Google-Street-View images looking for visual elements, e.g. windows, balconies, and street signs, that are most distinctive for a certain geo-spatial area.

In their SIGGRAPH paper they describe how this information can be used to develop an architectural footprint of a city or city area and compare Paris, Barcelona, Prague and London

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QR Code Embedded Images

QR Code with embeded image

QArt Coder is an online tool that allows to embed images into QR Codes.

QR codes are 2-dimensional bar codes that encode arbitrary text strings. A common use of QR codes is to encode URLs so that people can scan a QR code (for example, on an advertising poster, building roof, volleyball bikini, belt buckle, or airplane banner) to load a web site on a cell phone instead of having to “type” in a URL.

QR codes are encoded using Reed-Solomon error-correcting codes, so that a QR scanner does not have to see every pixel correctly in order to decode the content. The error correction makes it possible to introduce a few errors (fewer than the maximum that the algorithm can fix) in order to make an image. QArt Coder exploits that to embed an image into the QR code.

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Android Ported to C#

Android Ported to C# – Xamarin

Xamarin the company behind Mono the .NET runtime for Linux, iOS, MacOS and Android has just announced that they got the Java part of Android ported to C# via machine translation. They claim some serious performance gains over Dalvik. For them, this is an experiment that they are not planning to focus on, but they will be using some of the technologies in Mono for Android. As Part of the project they improved the automated Java to C# translator “Sharpen”. Their version of Sharpen besides the code of the Android port itself is available on Github.

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Finally An Alternative For Gaffa Tape

Whatever you like to call it Gaffa, Gaffer or Duct Tape as we all know it fixes every problem. A theory proven in several Mythbusters specials on the famous unbeatable sticky tape.

But finally there might be some competition on the horizon. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts came up with a reusable sticky tape that is inspired by a geckos toes. A hand-sized patche of the material clings to smooth glass even while holding 300 kilograms of weight.

This is much more than any other reversible adhesive can hold, they say. The pads can be peeled off and reused over 100 times. Such materials could be used to attach TVs to a wall, make robots that scuttle up walls and windows, and hold together computer and car parts.

[ via technoloyreview.com ]

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