The Director of Fraunhofer Portugal, Dirk Elias, was awarded with the Galileo Master 2012, assigned by European Satellite navigation Competition (ESNC). It concerns the development of an application for smartphones that uses a local positioning technology, like GPS, but for enclosed places such as stores, large buildings, underground car parkings and tunnels.
Among the strenghts of this technology, we would stress out the improvement of the security and evacuation systems on enclosed places like stadiums or airports, the potential of finding an alternative way out in the middle of a fire situation and, the possibility of application on systems of localization for blind people and people with special needs.
The technology “Seamless Navigation trough ultra low-frequency Magnetic Field Communication” (ULF-MC), consists in an intelligent navigation system that allows a precise localization of the place where we stand, using magnetic fields of very low frequency to establish reliable communication with smart phones in an enclosed ambiance.
European Satellite Navigation Competition is an international competition, that takes place annually since 2004, and whose goal is to reward the best business ideas in the satellite navigation. It is sponsored by GSA, ESA, European Comission, DRL and the Bavarian State.
The project developed by Dirk Elias was the big winner among more than 400 applications coming from more than 40 countries. Among the other winners were two more Fraunhofer teams from Germany and a group of FEUP students,that received the special 'University Challenge' prize.
The next step, according to Dirk Elias, is to license the technology to interested companies in order for them to start building products that will be as useful as GPS-based solutions we all know and use today.