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Nokia goes indoors with 3D maps, Bluetooth 4.0 and a Parrot AR Drone. The future of indoor mapping?

Google Maps for Android might’ve updated so that we can now get a glimpse of shopping centres (in Japan and the States for now). But this video of Nokia’s 3D indoor mapping takes things to the next level.

It’s a very early hands-on look at something which could be the future of indoor navigation. But it’s a cool video nonetheless and anything involving a Parrot AR Drone will always pique our interest.

This 3D maps service works by tracking devices with Bluetooth tags; the Drone (controlled by a Nokia N9) is fitted with a tag and the ‘room’ area – indicated by the yellow tape – is set up with Bluetooth Low Energy antenna readers. These triangulate the position of the tag attached to the Drone pretty effectively as you’ll see in the video. This could be really useful for finding your way around shopping malls – or busy press events.

According to EE Times, Nokia is working on a Location Extension protocol to ride on top of Bluetooth 4.0. This hasn’t been accepted as a standard feature by the Bluetooth SIG (yet), so it may not become a standard feature.

And even if it does, it’s going to be a while before we see phones supporting Bluetooth 4.0 on the shelves.

But it’d certainly make finding out where the eggs are kept easier, although you can kind of already do this with the Tesco Finder iOS app.

For phone owners who need extra accessibility, this kind of 3D indoor mapping could be paired with turn-by-turn voice directions in the future. Cool stuff.

Source: EE Times, IntoMobile (YouTube) via The Nokia Blog