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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
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12. Human powered water transport
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08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
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12. Levitating living organisms
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12. ebooks
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04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
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12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
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06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
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06. Magnetic levitation
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Vol. 7, No. 7. July 31, 2012
ISSN 1932-3018

Indoor position location
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a new procedure for position location and trip mapping within buildings. It is the in-door equivalent of global positioning. It describes the use of cell phones for this activity. In terms of the Atlas of Technology it is concerned with the transmission of information (I).
The use of cell phones for global positioning services is well-known. Mostly phones rely on a satellite network. For in-door purposes this is not feasible due to problems with linkages.
Different principles can be used when satellite service is impractical. These include:
  • Pre-set wireless beacons
  • Magnetic field mapping
In a recent article by Chen, B.S., "A Smartphone maps the way, now indoors", New York Times, July 16, 2012, p. B6, an application is explained involving the latter principle.
Using a magneto sensitive component within the phone, the user can detect and record the pattern of geo-magnetic lines within the building. This pattern is then incorporated into a magnetic map of the building layout. Destinations within the building can be specified for the cell phone, which then indicates its own position by means of a dot on an image of a background map.
The process is based on a bio-magnetic analogy. Lobsters use magnetic lines to navigate in nature.

On the NASA nine point scale, of technology readiness levels (TRLs), this procedure is at a TRL of 8.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.