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NIST Launches Indoor Navigation App Devt Challenge

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology has launched a challenge to foster the development of a smartphone application for indoor navigation.

NIST said Friday the PerfLoc competition aims to give app developers and small companies access to NIST-collected data to aid the creation computer algorithms for indoor localization tools.

An NIST-led team collected data from four different smartphone models over an 18-month research effort to support the development of indoor navigation apps.

The team walked the smartphones along 30 different directions in four various buildings to gather data that participants must interpret using computer algorithms to provide estimates of the smartphones’ locations.

The data is publicly available online and includes smartphone sensor readings, radio frequency signal strengths and global positioning system fixes.

NIST noted indoor GPS platforms can help users navigate unfamiliar buildings and assist emergency responders in locating victims and fallen partners.

The agency will award $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 in cash prizes to top three winners and the grand prize awardee will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their app at a conference in Japan.

NIST will accept challenge submissions through Aug. 17.

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