App that can track you

Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Have you ever found yourself lost inside a large shopping mall or campus premises without an idea as to where you are and no one to guide you?

Worry no more. Finding your way around unfamiliar establishments would in future be as easy as clicking images, as discovered by an Emirati student at the Khalifa University.

Buti Mohammad Al Delail, 21, a recent graduate of Computer Engineering at the university in Sharjah has developed an indoor navigation application that could kick-start the future of indoor mapping.

Only outdoor maps are presently accessible through Google.

Buti’s ‘Context Aware Visual indoor Augmented Reality’ application (CAViAR App), which is compatible with and downloadable from Apple’s iTunes platform, uses state-of-the-art Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to provide the user with the blueprint of his/her location, 3D view of the vicinity and navigation based on image detection.

By simply taking a snapshot of a logo, label, brand or a company name inside a mall or a building using smartphones, the user will receive information of his exact location and how to get to his next destination through Google maps.

“Indoor Location Services (ILS) is one of the recent promising fields for mobile applications that are specialised in indoor localisation and navigation,” said Buti.

Indoor maps

CAViAR App also features indoor maps, points the shortest path, places of interest, location sharing, locating the user friend’s location and voice commands. “CAViAR is now implemented at the Khalifa University Sharjah campus and uses the professor’s name and room number written on the doors to pinpoint the location,” explained Buti.

“It also uses voice recognition to recognise commands such as ‘Where is Dr Luis Weruaga?’ and shows you the direction to his office. It can also trace the user footsteps while walking in order to update the location,” he added.

CAViAR App is currently only available for use by Khalifa University students and downloadable at the iPhone AppStore.

“I haven’t mapped any other campus, but in time, this app could be applied to many locations around the world,” Buti stated.

CAViAR App is compatible with iPhone or iPad, BlackBerry and other android devices including Samsung, primarily for their good processor, image recognition, graphics, 3D and 3G connectivity. Internet connection is required to run the mobile application.

At the recently held Mobile Application Contest, participated by universities from across the country and hosted by Khalifa University, Buti was awarded fourth for CAViAR App.

Asked about his inspiration, the graduate who intends to pursue a Masters degree in his field said: “Don’t give up and say this is impossible or cannot be done, never settle for less. Work hard and don’t depend on others. When you see the history of technology, almost all we have today started from an idea and people thought it was impossible at that time. Similarly, history repeats itself, what is impossible now is possible in the future. We can contribute to the future and raise the UAE up high.”—

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