A new Microsoft applications from the company's Research division has been discovered on the Google Play Store. The “Path Guide” application was found by Microsoft watcher WalkingCat and is a new navigation service.
Of course, coming from Microsoft Research, Path Guide puts a breakthrough twist on navigation apps. Indeed, the description says: “Path Guide” is a “completely map-free infrastructure-free, play-and-play- indoor navigation service.”
It is worth pointing out that the app is for indoor navigation, and not maps. For example, Path Guide does not rely on beacons to make it easier to create and map indoor routes. The technology makes indoor mapping much easier and efficient by using the following three steps:
- User records sensory data with his/her device during a given indoor walk. The location-specific geomagnetic features extracted from the sensory data are combined with the user's walking patterns (e.g., steps, turns, going upstairs/downstairs) to build a reference trace.
- Reference trace is pushed to the cloud and can be searched by others for navigation.
- Once downloaded a reference trace, Path Guide compares and synchronizes current sensor readings with the reference trace, and guides the user, in real time, from the same starting location to the final destination.
Microsoft Research is the division of the company that is bringing the technology of the future to the present. Some of the main focuses of the group is on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
With Path Guide, users can record and share created paths. Additionally, it is possible to track a path back to its starting point, which can help someone new to a place.
We imagine this will be a very interesting for business and other users. If you are interested in the app, you can find it from the Google Play Store. At the moment, the app is only available on the Android platform.
Considering Microsoft has embraced other platforms in recent year, we guess Path Guide will make it to iOS eventually.