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New York Macy's gets first GPS navigation system for the indoors

By Abigail Prendergast     Nov 8, 2012 in Technology
GPS navigators have for years been very useful in finding locations, but recently it has shifted to finding your way inside of places including the Macy's in New York's Herald Square. New technology allows users to navigate passages and even find items.
Getting lost in department stores has never been a monumentally hard task, but finding your way around one, let alone the biggest in the nation, is anything but easy. Now, the Macy's Flagship Department Store in New York City has teamed up with a software startup to take the edge off of navigating a shopping Goliath.
According to Mashable Business, tech company, Meridian had helped the department store giant by adding a feature to its already existing iPhone application that provides users with "turn-by-turn directions" within the walls of the Macy's store at Herald Square.
Announcing Thursday that it will be making two of its indoor positioning kits to third-party developers, Meridian said they would be permitted to incorporate the indoor GPS system into new or already existing apps. Macy's is one of the three businesses to test the waters of this technology, and the first retail chain to do so.
The first institution to assist in the development of Meridians interior navigation system was the American Musuem of Natural History back in 2010 reports San Francisco Gate.
As far as Macy's is concerned, by searching "Herald Square" in the aforementioned iOS app users will then be given an indoor map of the mammoth store.
“Macy’s is kind of the leader right now in a lot of digital initiatives. They’ve been trying out lots of digital initiatives to engage with shoppers in their homes and in stores,” said Jeff Hardison, Vice President of Marketing and Business for Meridian. He pointed out the ultimate aspiration of expanding the indoor GPS technology to most, if not all, Macy's locations.
By opening its technology to other SDK developers, Meridian is likely to witness it be utilized in many other business locations. Google and its Google Maps feature already give detailed directions and indoor maps of places like airports, shopping malls and retail chains, even Macy's. Even so, it was Meridian who bundled it all up into a neat little app package in addition to giving users locations of specific items within the store.
“Not only will we be able to give shoppers a utility to get around stores and find products, but now we will be able to ask if they want to receive offers based on where they are standing,” Hardison informed Mashable. “You can imagine how big that is."
While retail stores are a big ticket item for Meridian, they have also set their sights on places providing hospitality and healthcare. Hence its decision to include Miami's Children's Hospital and Sydney Airport.
More about Macy's, Gps, Indoor Navigation System, NYC, herald squaRE