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NEC technology uses geomagnetism to locate individuals

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NEC says that it has developed a technology that utilizes geomagnetism to determine the exact location of subjects inside of buildings, where the frame and other steel materials may interfere with GPS signals.

Utilizing deep learning, a kind of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this technology estimates the geomagnetic characteristics for each floor of a building based on indoor location information and geomagnetic information obtained by a prior examination. According to these characteristics, it can determine the location of a subject to within 2 meters of accuracy based on the geomagnetic information obtained through a sensor carried by the subject.

Going forward, NEC intends to combine this technology with a personal identification technology which uses the resonation of sound determined by the shape of human ear cavities, a motion sensor, and other components and to provide a platform for "hearable devices" (earphone type devices) that can help grasp where a person is, who the person is, and their activity status.

There are growing needs to determine the exact location of individuals while they are inside such locations as office facilities and retail stores, for purposes that include dynamic management and customer guidance. Conventionally, methods for locating individuals who are indoors include the use of a beacon or wireless LAN, which may be problematic in terms of costly installment.

NEC is aiming for the commercialization of platforms for hearable devices by the end of the 2017 fiscal year by combing this new technology with a personal identification technology which uses the resonation of sound determined by the shape of human ear cavities, motion sensors and other components.

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