Traditional mapping platforms like Google Maps reportedly do not address needs of everything going on inside venues and buildings
Mapping and location platform technology provider LocusLabs has secured $3.5m in Series A funding.
Investors in the round include SITA, a specialist in air transport communications and information technology, and Acorn Pacific Ventures of Silicon Valley.
Since the company launched its platform in late 2015 it claims to have brought its “indoor street view-like” technology to more than 70 airports worldwide.
According to the company, mapping at scale inside venues is especially challenging because of the lack of GPS, and the fact that things can change more frequently in indoor environments.
Campbell Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of LocusLabs, led the startup team that developed the original Google Street View technology, and has brought a similar mapping approach to LocusLabs for large indoor spaces.
“Traditional mapping platforms like Google Maps do not address needs of everything going on inside venues and buildings. Indoor spaces are more about ‘things’ than places. LocusLabs brings indoor location down to the ‘things’ level,” said Kennedy.
LocusLabs’ technology stack is made up of a reality capture system consisting of depth cameras, lasers and other sensors which produces interior maps of buildings and builds out a database of thousands of places, products and things.
This system enables LocusLabs to produce a highly-detailed 3D map of a large venue in a matter of days. The map is used to deploy indoor positioning technology to augment GPS, and camera-based tools running on a smartphone are then used to keep all the map content up-to-date.
LocusLabs started off by tackling airports, the largest and most heavily foot-trafficked indoor spaces on earth.
“Airports are mini-cities where millions of people eat, shop and work, so there is a need to help passengers find what they are looking for. LocusLabs helps millions of passengers each month. But with increasing investment and complexity of technology being deployed in large buildings, there is also a major need for B2B applications,” said Kennedy.
For example, Miami International Airport is looking to location as one way of optimising it by monitoring where people spend their time inside the terminals so they can reduce air conditioning costs where it’s not needed, which can save millions of dollars per year and according to Kennedy this is made possible by micro-location technology.
With the Series A secured, LocusLabs will focus on:
LocusLabs aims to help people find anything they are looking for inside large complex spaces, by providing the most information-rich maps and indoor location experience in the world.
The need and technology are finally here to bring mapping and location services indoors. Future IoT, smart building and augmented reality applications are absolutely dependent on detailed, up-to-date models,” added Kennedy. “This is the new frontier for maps, and LocusLabs is the platform that will make it happen at scale.”
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