Project TitleIndoor Localization Through Visual Cues
Track Code2010-018
Short Description

GPS-independent technology for indoor localization and wayfinding.


Wi-Fi and cellular base station based technologies can be applied to the problem of indoor localization and wayfinding when GPS sensing is not possible. However, these technologies suffer various technical problems and can be complicated and difficult to implement. Researchers from Northwestern University have developed a simple, practical approach to indoor localization and wayfinding that uses publicly available floor plans and requires only minimal input from a mobile phone user. No special infrastructure is needed. A user proceeds from one location to another location inside of a building by traveling in a sequence of several hops in response to different visual cues. A portable handheld device may provide the visual cues to the user. The user reaches the destination through the sequence of hops using the portable handheld device.

TagsOMMUNICATIONS: wireless, SOFTWARE: positioning, SOFTWARE: user control, SOFTWARE: system control
Posted DateJan 23, 2013 1:38 PM


Aaron Ballew
Aleksandar Kuzmanovic
C.C. Lee
Shiva Srivastava

Nikolay Valtchanov


  • Indoor localization and wayfinding in supermarkets, shopping malls, airports, etc.


  • No special infrastructure: Only a mobile phone and publicly available floor plans are needed
  • Simple to use: Only minimal user input is needed 
  • Fully scalable
  • Low cost to deploy


IP Status

A patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Arjan Quist, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847-467-0305