Indoor navigation on Smartphones is going to be HUGE!

July 12, 2013

Google Indoor Nav

Indoor navigation on Smartphones is going to be HUGE!

Why? Because we spend most of our time indoors, working, shopping, eating, at  a shopping mall, at the office, on campus, etc. GPS and Maps are great, but they only work outdoors and with clear line of sight to the sky. Indoors most Smartphones resort to using WiFi access point or cell tower positioning techniques which are far less accurate than GPS. This makes many location based apps unusable indoors.

However, the recent explosion of Smartphones with built in sensors, accelerometer, gyro, WiFi radios, and camera make indoor positioning possible. There are many companies working on software and/or hardware solutions to this problem using various methods. How useful these are depends on your Smartphone hardware, OS and external infrastructure available at the indoor location.

But if you are a developer who wants to incorporate indoor location into you latest app, how do you sort through these various techniques and technologies and incorporate a solution that suits your users needs?

What we need is a single one-stop solution for an app developer – a software development kit (SDK) or Application Programming Interface (API) available on all major platforms that provides the best indoor location capability. It needs to be a software only solution that utilises the available hardware and infrastructure that can be continuously upgraded as better technology becomes available.

This is a multi-million (if not billion) dollar opportunity as this software could be running on every Smartphone in the world and provide revenue every time a smartphone provides indoor location to a user.

I’m looking for people in Adelaide with an entrepreneurial bent and relevant skills to help me pursue this great opportunity. I am a Systems Engineer and Physicist with 20 years experience building complex complex software intensive systems in the Defence sector. I also have previous startup experience. Here is a link to my LinkedIn Profile. In particular, I am looking for someone with B2B marketing experience and a Smartphone app developer (preferably Android but iOS is OK).

Reply to this post below, email me at lmudge1@adam.com.au or contact me on 0414 716 903 if you are interested. I’m pitching this idea at Startup Weekend Adelaide (12-14 July) so it would be great if you could join me there so that we can get a start.


Why iPhone will always have a killer advantage over Android phones

May 14, 2013

Android-vs-iOS

As I contemplate my next smartphone purchase it has become apparent to me why iPhones, iPad and iPod Touches have a very significant advantage over Android phones which will be very difficult for Android phone manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC & LG to overcome (and also for that matter Windows Phone manufacturers such as Nokia).

It all stems from the common iOS operating system and associated apps that can largely run across this line of devices. Through the iOS app store and associated iOS app development ecosystem, Apple has built up a significant community of users and developers who are pretty much locking in to iOS devices. There are still many iOS apps that are not available on Android and many developers who still exclusively develop for iOS.

As I contemplate buying an Android phone (the new HTC One looks good) and ditching my almost out of contract iPhone 4S, I have to factor in the large number of iPhone apps that I have become very reliant on since I bought my first iPhone 3GS in 2010. Many of these are still not available on Android (even though there are almost certainly equivalents). Over the last 3 years I have accumulated almost 200 apps, many of which I have paid good money for. If I were to move to Android I would have to either re-buy the Android version or find an equivalent Android app with an associated learning curve. This would involve significant time and financial investment.

Conversely if I was an existing Android user on say a Samsung Galaxy S3 about to come out of contract, I have a multitude of phones from competing manufacturers to choose from e.g. the new HTC One mentioned above. I can easily move my suite of Android apps across to my new phone and the old manufacturer will loose my business. Android phone manufacturers are well aware of this and that’s why they’re heavily investing in manufacturer specific feature add-ons to Android e.g. Samsung Smart Pause and Smart Scroll. Ironically these will only serve to splinter the Android ecosystem more and destroy a main selling point of Android phones – that of being able to easily switch devices an take your apps with you and not being locked in to a single manufacturer.

This means that Apple is going to have a significant advantage as a smartphone and tablet manufacturer over it’s competitors for the foreseeable future.