by Carol Politi
TRX had the pleasure of attending the Red Herring Top 100 Conference last week. Two hundred companies attended to network, discuss capital raising, company growth, and strategic partnering. The companies ranged from early stage startups doing several million dollars in revenue to later stage companies doing 50-100M+. Each company had the chance to pitch its business and each was evaluated based on a range of criteria including financial performance, quality of management and execution of strategy, technological prowess, IP creation, and the disruptive impact they bring to their respective industries. Everyone attending ended up giving elevator pitches about 50 times during informal networking events and delivering and defending a 12 minute business presentation. TRX was voted to be one of the Top 100 companies! This was a great event both for the networking and for the feedback on the company presentations.
by Carol Politi
Dr. Carol Teolis, Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder of TRX, is being honored today by the University of Maryland Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in its third annual ECE Distinguished Alumni Awards.
The indoor location innovations spearheaded by Dr. Teolis and the TRX team are highlighted in her presentation on GPS-denied Location and Mapping at the University Of Maryland School of Engineering (link here). This discussion highlights the challenges associated with delivering seamless location using small RF, inertial, and other sensors in cellular devices and low-cost wearable accessories. The presentation highlights the broad array of approaches available to solve the challenge of infrastructure-free indoor location. Dr. Teolis reviews TRX's unique approach using very low cost embedded sensors (magnetic, accelerometer, gyroscope, pressure, Bluetooth, WiFi, light), fusing sensor information, and detecting unique structural, magnetic, and RF features within the building to develop collaborative map information that can be used to improve location estimates.
Congratulations to Dr. Teolis from the TRX team!
by Carol Politi
William English of TRX will be presenting TRX NEON Indoor Location Solutions at the NDIA 15th Annual Science & Engineering Technology Conference from April 8-10th. That presentation includes a video demonstration of NEON algorithms and technology as well as a technical overview of the NEON indoor location and mapping technology.
The conference is being held at the Marriott Inn & Conference Center in Hyattsville, MD.
by Carol Politi
TRX has been working for some time to adapt and extend its sensor fusion and mapping algorithms to support indoor location using only embedded cellular device sensors.
Using sensor fusion, ranging, and mapping to deliver indoor location limits power consumption, allows delivery of location where no infrastructure or mapping exists, enables delivery of more seamless location (extending into parking garages, for example), and enables provision of dynamic updates to maps (structural changes, which happen with only limited frequency, but also changes to heat maps regarding typical user routes, and changes to WiFi or Bluetooth node locations).
The following is an example of tracking within a mall using the Nexus 5. Niether Wi-Fi mapping or floor plans are used to constrain location results.
As this path is being taken, NEON is collecting map data - structural information such as stairwells and elevators, as well as magnetic features, Bluetooth features, and Wi-Fi features. This information can be used to improve the location for others that revisit these same points in the future.
by Carol Politi
"Status of the MEMS Industry 2013", a new market report available from ReportsNReports, estimates that the overall MEMS market will be worth US$22.5B in 2018 (compared with US$11B in 2012), and the MEMS market for cell devices and tables alone will be worth $US6.4B in 2018.
This demand is, in part, driven by the demand for indoor location using embedded cell device sensors. TRX leverages accelerometer, gyroscope, pressure, compass and other embedded sensors to augment RF positioning, and in combination with higher level agorithms, deliver extended indoor location information when GPS is not reliable or unavailable (within buildings, dense urban areas, parking garages, metros, etc.). The MEMS market growth is particularly large for compact, combination sensors.
While restricted to higher end cell devices today, you can expect lower cost cell devices to increasingly incorporate sensors that are valuable for positioning. This proliferation of sensors is extending to other wearable accessories - smart watches, glasses, personal fitness devices & more. A recent Invensense developers conference showcased (in addition to the TRX NEON Indoor Location System) an array innovative sensor solutions, including devices from 3D Robotics, Variable Inc., Articulate Labs, Xensr, Makers with a Cause, GN Store Nord, Dysonics, ON Semiconductor, and zSpace.
by Carol Politi
A new research report studying the indoor location market estimates that it will experience a 42% growth rate - growing from $448.56 million in 2013 to $2.6 billion in 2018 ("Indoor Location Market: Global Advancements, Market Forecasts and Analysis", by Research and Markets). This is a tremendous growth rate, and it will impact virtually every segment of the technology market including enterprise networking, mobile platform, mobile infrastructure, mapping, and application providers.
The indoor location market is not at all one dimensional. Every industry segment - from mission critical government to consumer retail - is reliant on location based services, and each will benefit from access to more accurate location data. However, the requirements in each industry segment vary a great deal and this is driving an array of different solutions into the market.
Retailers and museums delivering applications for their customers can rely upon installed infrastructure and accurate indoor maps. Other applications being used in these same venues may not have access to such enterprise data, but can count on "signals of opportunity" (e.g., Wi-Fi that happens to be installed in the area). Mission critical applications often can't count on any infrastructure as all of it could fail during an emergency.
Solutions are emerging in islands, with pockets of mapped WiiFi delivering general location inside high use venues such as malls, airports, and museums. These island solutions provide a big leap in capability - enabling proximity-based retail services and effective information and navigation services. However, the ideal user experience is far more seamless - allowing continuous navigation throughout the mall, into the parking garage or metro, and into less frequently used venues such as office and residential buildings.
This seamless user experience requires the ability to seamlessly link islands of "globally known" locations - from GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, or from the user themselves via their application - with locations for which there is no globally known location or mapping data. In some cases, this link is for only a short period (between well mapped enterprises). In other cases, location must be calculated for extended periods.
TRX started its location work for mission critical applications, with the premise that it was necessary to deliver location for extended periods without infrastructure assist. As a result, the navigation approach used by the TRX NEON software performs dynamic mapping of venues - identifying structural features and signatures, and crowdsourcing this feature information - to quickly establish a comprehensive map of features that can be used as an input to location calculations. Through this approach the NEON navigation engine allows navigation for extended periods without any global location updates - building bridges between the islands.
by Carol Politi
TRX is looking for a talented Mechanical Engineer to design and manufacture compact, rugged enclosures for the TRX Indoor Location Device and future products. We need someone that will oversee all aspects of the mechanical design from concept through medium scale manufacturing, including creating and testing prototypes using rapid prototyping processes, holding design reviews, and performing detailed failure mode analysis. The job includes a close collaboration with TRX Electrical Engineers during the design process, and management of our interfaces to outside test labs to verify drop test, IP67, and mil spec ratings compliance. It also includes working with manufacturers to build injection mold tooling, all operations management responsibility for our builds (finding/ordering necessary parts, etc.), development of final assembly instructions and product documentation, and coordination with any outside resources used to support device assemply. We are looking for someone that is comfortable with interacting with strategic partners and customers in order to support all requests related to mechanical components. Contact us if you want to work with a great team & game changing technology! More details HERE.
by Carol Politi.
TRX's Chief Technology Officer, Carole Teolis (supported by contributions from other members of the TRX team) has co-authored a new book titled "Geolocation Techniques, Principles, and Applications". The book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in a comprehensive overview of geolocation technologies and approaches for indoor navigation- including covering RF & ranging (and the impact of multipath environments), cellular, inertial, and localization and mapping corrections.
The authors of the book include Camillo Gentile (National Institute of Standards and Technology), Nayef Alsindi (Etilsalat BT Innovation Center, Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research), Ronald Raulefs (German Aerospace Center), and Carole Teolis (TRX Systems).
By Carol Politi
I am often asked about the commercial applications for indoor location. “Why would anyone need to locate indoors?"
It can be tough to envision applications that might be generated through capabilities you don’t have. GPS was first funded and deployed for military applications. Without the defense push for GPS the business case for investment would have been very difficult to make. However, the overall market for GPS devices and systems is now expected to grow to over 240 Billion dollars by 2013 (ABI Research) – and a good part of that is driven from the civilian sector.
Indoor location has also been initially driven by Government and Public Safety applications where the demand is the greatest. However, during day two of the WPI Precision Indoor Location and Tracking Workshop, both Qualcomm and Verizon spoke about the immense potential for the consumer indoor location market. Applications discussed included navigation applications within transportation hubs, shopping malls, convention centers, university campuses, hospitals, and office buildings, along with entertainment and social applications. Should we really have to wander around looking for “you are here” signs to find a decent restaurant? I don’t think so. And at some point we will all stop walking around with phones to our ears while we are almost bumping into the person we are supposed to meet.
Today, we can detect proximity from Wi-Fi, but we can’t get to precise indoor location. This is the “last mile” for the location services market. While a number of tagging & infrastructure-based technologies can deliver to precise indoor location, it is tough to make these solutions ubiquitous. At WPI, the view from Qualcomm and Verizon appeared to be that simplicity may win out over precision, and that innovations that depend less on infrastructure may win out.
Regardless of the commercial potential to make our lives more convenient and entertaining - and in TRX’s case to increase the size of the market we are addressing - real lives will be saved by delivering GPS-denied location for the military and public safety markets. At TRX, we remember that every day.
by Carol Politi.
Dr. John Karvounis of TRX Systems is speaking in a session titled "Navigating in Challenged Environments (e.g., Urban, Indoor, and Subterranean)" at the 2011 Joint Navigation Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado this week. The session is chaired by Jalal Mapar of the Department of Homeland Security and Dr. R James Duckworth of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Additional details on the conference are available here.