Why finding people in big buildings is big business
The Hustle

Why finding people in big buildings is big business

Many navigation apps have a giant indoor blind spot.


January 16, 2020

If you’ve ever gotten lost in a mall, don’t fret. People will apparently pay giant sums to power the tech that’ll find you.

Case in point: A company called NextNav just raised $120m to roll out a system that will pinpoint a device’s location inside a tall building.

Think of it like GPS, but with an indoor voice

Popular navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze cover the world, but many of them have a blind spot: Once you get inside, you’re usually on your own.

Startups like NextNav, the Israel-based Navin, and others are banking on the idea that lots of people could benefit from this technology. Think emergency responders, doctors, and tourists.

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Turn left at the watercooler

Some companies are even getting in the game. The Wall Street Journal reported that Exxon Mobil plans to offer a wayfinding app for workers at its sprawling Houston campus, which covers 4.5m square feet.

No wonder they have trouble finding the coffee pot.

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