Img/2012/5/15/mall-inner.jpgLondon: Lost at shopping malls? Turn to "shop-nav", say German engineers who claim to have developed the satellite navigation system which works inside buildings.The GPS-style "shop-nav" gadget, that can be operated from an everyday smartphone, allows shoppers to find their way to particular stores within a large mall, and even suggests a planned route to ensure nothing is missed, say its developers.
In fact, the gadget turns smartphones into miniature guides, leading users to the outlet they need via the quickest route, say the developers.
The engineers say that the "shop-nav" could download a three-dimensional plan of participating buildings from the internet, using a code which can be scanned in to phones.
And, from there, it will detail the layout of the shopping centre, a newspaper reported.
The project has been funded by the German government and the gadgets were developed by German Ministry for Education, the Stuttgart-based Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation and companies, including Bosch.
Harald von Rosenberg, project manager, said he got the idea from visiting a vast local "megaplex shopping mall".
"I thought, `wouldn`t it be helpful if at such moments the smart phone could quickly shift to an interior space navigator and point the way through the rows of shops and stairwells`.
There has never before been a device so small that can accomplish so much.
"It would also be possible to apply a two-dimensional QR code on the layout plan at the entrance of the building. Users could then scan the code with their smartphone, to download the corresponding map," he added.