Any Minnesota readers? Please give this Mall of America app a try
I am a huge fan of mobile software and appreciate all of the hard work that developers put into their applications. I received an email from Paul Hinrichsen regarding a project he has been working on in his spare time for quite a while now. GPS navigation is fantastic on Nokia devices and Paul is working to bring indoor navigation to the platform with his current target being the monstrous Mall of America location in Minnesota. The Mall of America has over hundreds of stores so you can imagine why you need help getting around the place.
I do not live near there so I can’t help Paul test out his application in real-life situations. He is particularly interested in seeing how it works with the Nokia Astound. If there are any Nokia Experts readers in Minnesota or who play to visit the Mall of America, please read below and consider helping give feedback to Paul on his application.
I developed a liking for Flash Lite programming and this has since become my hobby. My particular interest lies with the problems of indoor navigation. I entered an indoor navigation app in the Nokia Calling all Innovators Africa competition in 2009 and came 10th out of 125 entries. This app did not provide turn-by-turn directions along the shortest route but simply static map graphics for a 4-level mall having 320 stores.
I have since developed an indoor navigation app targeted at the Mall of America (4-levels and 520+ stores). The app provides turn-by-turn directions along the shortest route as well as reporting on the distances to walk for each leg of the journey – rather like your motor car gps. I haven’t added voice but this will be the next upgrade to the app. Also – being man-alone I don’t have the expertise to research mobile device tracking in an indoor environment so to locate themselves the user simply enters the name of a store at their location. Glad to see though that Nokia are developing a dynamic tracking system. Hoping to one day hook into their technology.
Having developed this in South Africa I haven’t had the opportunity to test it in the Mall itself – however I have confidence in my construction. I don’t claim it will bring you right to the very door of the store that you are seeking but it will bring you close enough to see the store front. I am DESPERATELY looking for someone to test the app in the Mall. I have contacted the Mall itself but they seem rather closed-minded and are not even interested to look at it since it is a “third party app”. I am not necessarily asking you to test the app as I am certain you are very busy and you are probably nowhere near Bloomington Minnesota.
You can find his application for free in the Ovi Store and if you do get a chance to try it out, please leave a review with feedback on its performance. Here are a couple videos so you can see how it works.