What you need to know
- Dent Reality has announced it's now one of the third-parties working with Apple's Indoor Maps Program.
- The venture is going to help Dent Reality provide indoor AR navigation.
- It looks like the first projects will be available later this year.
We've updated this article after Dent Reality reached out to us to clarify a couple of things about today's announcement.
Dent Reality has announced that its now listed as a third party of Apple's Indoor Maps Program!
Indoor AR navigation, from Dent Reality, guiding me from a train station concourse to a store in a shopping mall.— Andrew Hart (@AndrewProjDent) February 25, 2020
(Yes this is real. I feel like I’m living in the future some days 😅) pic.twitter.com/8VxSvSphN2
Dent Reality is a UK-based startup that specializes in "bringing breakthrough technology and user experience to indoor spaces, within retail and beyond." It's working on a global platform with several organizations around the world to "enable their spaces with AR navigation."
Apple does already support some indoor location data within Apple Maps, however, its Indoor Maps Program is about enabling "these maps to exist in other places, such as in individual apps which might be more specialized, and on the web." Apple's Indoor Maps Program overview states:
Finding your way inside a large and unfamiliar building can be difficult, and when you're pressed for time, not knowing which way to go can be incredibly stressful. Apple is trying to make indoor wayfinding easier in two ways. First, by adding indoor maps of airports and shopping centers to Apple Maps. Carefully curated and frequently updated, these indoor maps provide a beautiful 2D and 3D mapping experience together with a detailed directory of all the shops, restaurants and amenities within the facility. There are over 50 airports as well as hundreds of shopping centers live in Apple Maps today and more are being added every week. Second, Apple is providing a way for the developer community to add indoor maps to their own apps and websites, whether the maps be for the general public or for their staff. In either case, Apple allows the facility owner to have full control over who is permitted to see the indoor map.
With regards to third-party platforms, Apple lists several third parties who use their platforms for creation and updating IMDF, Dent is now a part of that group!
Dent Reality is able to use Apple's IMDF file format (that stands for Indoor Mapping Data Format), a new standard for indoor maps. They can also take advantage of WiFi-based positioning technology, a cheaper alternative to beacons that they say is "the best we've seen." Dent Reality is building on top of this with its own maps, user experience, turn-by turn directions and AR navigation for the first time, an example of which you can see in the Tweet above! This means that Dent Reality, in essence, is building its own SDK and apps for its customers on Apple's Indoor Maps Program, and its the first of these third-parties to offer indoor AR nagivation.
You can find out more about Dent Reality and its Indoor Navigation efforts here!
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