Technology that almost works is an invitation for entrepreneurs to start a business that improves upon existing standards. One example is GPS. It functions perfectly fine outdoors, but not inside a building. Recently unveiled at the South by Southwest interactive event in Austin was the solution offered by EchoEcho.
With 10,000 people in the Austin Convention Center, arranging to meet some companions was complicated. The EchoEcho mobile application gave users an indoor floor plan map showing the location of someone by using GPS signals. The accuracy is finely tuned to within a couple of feet.
The application locates friends anywhere in the world by first finding them on a street map and then showing the building they occupy. Obtaining an exact position is accomplished as long as the property is a shopping mall, college campus, airport, theme park, or commercial building that has been mapped.
EchoEcho has gradually formed its system in conjunction with the indoor location maps provided by WifiSlam, a Stanford startup. No other location app delivers what EchoEcho achieves. After stealth development, the new company launched its service at the first SXSW weekend.
The application addresses privacy concerns by having users individually opt in for visibility to specific friends. In addition, the system allows deciding when to permit visibility connections. Therefore, EchoEcho has anticipated privacy issues related to its innovation. The platform is intended to locate actual friends or family, not to incur inundation by people seeking anyone who happens to have liked a particular Facebook page.
Another consideration of the EchoEcho design is engineering that obtains location data without rapidly draining battery life. Also, EchoEcho functions on any type of smartphone operating system – iPhone, Android, Windows Phone7, and Blackberry.