ByteLight Grabs $1.25 Million for 'GPS-like' Indoor Positioning System

By Peter Bernstein October 18, 2012

For those who are ‘locationally’ challenged, GPS, especially when navigation is included, has been a godsend. But that is for when you are outdoors. What is a lost soul to do when inside? The good news is that help is on the way.

Coming out of stealth mode, Cambridge, MA-based start-up ByteLight, a provider of LED (light-emitting diode) based indoor positioning technology, announced it has received $1.25 million in funding from individual and institutional investors, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners.  As can be seen from the announcement of the funding, the company is ecstatic.

Aaron Ganick, CEO and co-founder of ByteLight  stated that, “Accurate indoor positioning has been described as the ‘holy grail’ of location-based services…We provide an enabling, breakthrough technology for the emerging field of indoor-location applications and analytics. Our platform makes it easy for shoppers to navigate retail stores and find products, manages and optimizes enterprise employee operations, turns mobile devices into tour guides within a museum or public building, and helps people find colleagues and booths while attending trade shows or other events – the applications for this technology are truly endless.”

How it works

Putting the usual hyperbole aside, this is clearly something new and different and opens up new vistas on what has been a challenge in the location-based services, particularly for places like big box stores. The solution works as follows by turning LED light sources into positioning beacons:

  •  “ByteLight-enabled” lights transmit proprietary signals which can be picked up by camera-equipped mobile devices.
  • Once signals are detected, the device then calculates its position without the need for an active network connection.
  • The technology delivers sub-meter accuracy, is extremely responsive when compared to other indoor positioning solutions and works on existing smartphones.

ByteLight is accurate to less than one meter and takes less than a second to compute. And, it comes with tools to provide location-based digital content, analyze traffic patterns and measure engagement.

Source: www.bytelight.com  

What’s next?

The next phase for the start-up is to get the product into the market. ByteLight is partnering with innovative LED lighting manufacturers to incorporate its technology into their lighting products. ByteLight will use the funding to build its team, deploy at pilot locations and expand its ecosystem of lighting partners.

The company believes target markets include commercial and enterprise building owners, public safety officials, retail outlets and public spaces such as airports, museums and convention centers who will be able to use very precise location info for the delivery of all kinds of information. What they did not mention is such applications as inventory management in large warehouses, or even use for tracking of individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. As I stated above, the utility opens up a realm of potential uses that go well beyond what we have become used to with other location-based services.

Industry expert Michael Boland, mobile analyst with BIA/Kelsey said, “In the evolution of mapping and navigation, indoors is the next frontier.”

I am not sure about the great indoors being a frontier. What I am sure of is that I look forward to the day when finding my way around the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, NJ is a lot easier. It is a really big place with lots of LED lighting. The real frontier there is finding your car. An app that integrates indoor and outdoor location capabilities hopefully will be soon to follow.  



SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More

Facebook Wants More Sharing, Building New Camera App to Drive It

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

One of the great downsides to having a lot of content in any one place is that, after a while, it starts looking downright pointless to add more.

Read More