stroll

stroll is a software concept for mobile phones that I developed as part of my studies at the University Of The Arts Bremen. It aims to be what I call a passive navigation system that provides unobtrusive indoor navigation for exhibition spaces.

In contrast to traditional navigation, stroll doesn’t lead you to your target but instead lets roam around an exhibition freely and only gets in the way to make sure you’re not missing the stuff you really wanted to see.

The above video advertises stroll towards potential users of the app but doesn’t really explain the inner workings of this navigation system, which consists of multiple aspects.

Indoor Positioning System

I wanted to make stroll as easy to set-up as possible for an exhibitor and not require a complicated indoor positioning system to be installed. In contrast to outdoor navigation, stroll needs to orient itself in 3D-space on multiple floors and needs to be more precise.

After looking at some solutions I nailed down Bluetooth Beacons as a solution. They’re cheap, easy to install, work with your phone and can last almost forever on battery.

But how does stroll actually know where exhibits are and which floor or room the user is on?

Exhibit Database

After scattering Beacons around the exhibition space, the exhibitor curates stroll's database by walking around the space and tagging exhibits using stroll on his phone.

stroll doesn't need any room plans as it remembers the locations of point-of-interests by measuring the signal strengths (i.e. distance) to adjacent Bluetooth Beacons when an object is being tagged.

The exhibitor can then add additional information such as title, images, a description and the current room or hall name. The last step is important to aide stroll to provide more accurate alerts.

Suggestion Engine

Additionally to alerting the user about previously saved items, stroll can also suggest new exhibits.

These suggestions are generated by semantically connecting exhibits which are liked by the same person, similar to the way amazon serves you product suggestions.

This is meant to further encourage exploration.

Credits

Concept, Animation, Narration: René Henrich
Music: „Sunrise“ by Organoid