One of the best ways to socialize is to ask directions, even inside buildings. Two companies, Bosch Sensortec and NextNav believe that activity too can be taken over by smart electronics. Nextnav say they have demonstrated the ability to deliver precise ‘floor-level’ altitude by using a high quality pressure sensor in conjunction with a wide-area Metropolitan Beacon System (“MBS”) network. An MBS network is not building-specific but rather provides service across an entire metropolitan area, and is architected to remain accurate even in the case of shifting weather patterns or local microclimate effects. Now, NextNav’s additional technologies facilitate the conversion of an accurate altitude to a projected floor number, among other capabilities, and is collaborating closely with Bosch SensorTech.

Apparently not lost in his own building, Ganesh Pattabiraman, Founder and President of NextNav said: "We are delighted to be working closely with Bosch to bring this critical capability to market.”

Bosch Sensortec´s state of the art pressure sensor boasts an accuracy of ±0.08 hPa, equivalent to only ±70 cm difference in altitude with resolution of 1.5 Pa. Further technical highlights include a footprint of 2.5 x 2.0 mm2, a height of 0.95 mm in an 8-pin metal-lid LGA package, and only 2.7 µA of current consumption.

Once the smartphone is dead sure which floor you’re on, you should be confident to spot a friendly receptionist and ask where the toilets are.