In July 2010, the American Museum of Natural History was the first venue in the world to launch an iPhone app with an “indoor GPS” experience. Now, Macy’s is the first retailer to update an iPhone app with the same indoor positioning and navigation capabilities.
To see the indoor navigation technology in action, download the free Macy’s app in the Apple App Store. Search for the “Herald Square” store and an indoor navigation experience specific to the store will be provided. Use the search tool or tap on the “map” feature to discover departments, brands and other points of interest. These points of interest on the map will have “Take Me Here” buttons that can be tapped for receiving turn-by-turn directions. Only visitors to Herald Square with the iPhone app will see the glowing “blue dot” on the map to aid their navigation. A version for Android users will be launched soon.
Meridian, the mobile-software company powering the underlying technology for both the Macy’s app and the American Museum of Natural History Explorer app, announced today they’re offering this indoor positioning and navigation to other developers of apps. Third-party developers can use Meridian’s newly available software development kits (SDKs), called NavKit and BluDotKit, to implement Meridian’s turn-by-turn directions and patent-pending capability to simulate GPS indoors. The two SDKs have been privately beta-tested and shaped by not only Macy’s and their developers, but also a hospital (Miami Children’s Hospital) and an airport (Sydney, Australia’s).
How Other Locations Use Meridian’s SDKs
Miami Children’s Hospital is using Meridian’s SDKs to update their app with the ability to not only inform visitors where they are located, but also give them turn-by-turn directions to hospital departments and facilities.
“Miami Children’s Hospital was ahead of the curve in the healthcare industry by launching an iPhone app early on,” said Jason Shavelson, manager of web and software development at Miami Children’s Hospital. “Now, we are staying ahead of the industry by being the first hospital to select Meridian to add both indoor turn-by-turn directions and the ‘blue dot’ to an iPhone app.”