Having maps for building is not a new concept, especially since Google Maps already supports it in major cities. However, Microsoft has just released a new app that can trace the path of those walking around malls and other public buildings without needing Wi-Fi or GPS.
This very niche app by Microsoft is known as Path Guide. Once the app traces where the user is headed in the premises, the app can then use that trace as a map and share it with other users who can then improve it further. These maps are made public so they can continuously be optimized available for everyone, and is efficient because it does not use GPS and Wi-Fi, which are battery-draining.
Apparently, the app takes advantage of the phone’s in-built sensors such as the accelerometer, magnetometer and anything else that can be used to track the user’s details. Users can make their maps within the app and have them traced with the help of the app’s trace creator feature that uses notes and visual aids to show where other users would need to take turns and so on. For those who do not have the app, the directions can be sent in an e-mail as well, especially in larger malls that have multiple entry and exit points.
The app could be useful for marketers to provide routes for the app in order to promote their shops, which makes a lot sense, since it would give stores a reason to encourage customers to download the app and have them visit. For marketing purposes, there could be some potential to be had. It’s also one of those unique apps that is completely crowd-sourced and over time, its quality will be improved, owing to the massive collection of data that it will have received.
The project has been in development for two years now and is currently only available for Android. While it is still in its prototype stages, the app shows great promise, especially since most of parts that need to make it a finished app, all must come from the users of the app. It could also possibly open up routes to seemingly un-foraged areas of popular localities that are not too well known as well. The app is free and there has not been any confirmation whether it will make its way to iOS any time soon, either.