US: Real-time 3D mapping company, Real Earth has secured first place in Microsoft's Indoor Localization Competition recently held in Vienna, Austria. Real Earth achieved the top ranking through their algorithms embedded in their STENCIL product. It was the only product to perform real time indoor localization without the use of infrastructure.
The Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition is a well-known annual benchmark for assessing many approaches to indoor localization. The purpose of the competition was to bring together real-time indoor location technologies and compare their performance in the same space. The competition had nearly 50 competitors in 2D and the more challenging 3D category.
Real Earth was the only team to not rely on infrastructure in the 3D category and used only onboard sensors to provide localization. At the completion of the competition, the results showed Real Earth's device to have the most accurate localization with 0.16-meter average error compared to ground truth.
Kevin Dowling, CEO of Real Earth said, "It has been exciting to be part of this competition and watch our algorithms perform in difficult and dynamic environments. I have seen LiDAR devices evolve since the 1980s from expensive large and heavy devices the size of a microwave oven to the small and lightweight devices of today, such as the Velodyne units. The developments in the near future will prove to be even more exciting as both autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles incorporate these devices."
"As Real Earth's success demonstrates, 3D LiDAR is a critical new element in effective and efficient localization," said Mike Jellen, President and COO, Velodyne LiDAR. "The high resolution and mobility of the VLP-16 LiDAR Puck means faster inspections, and the 360 degrees of freedom our sensors deliver is ideal for data-gathering within enclosed facilities. While Velodyne LiDAR is already the established leader for vehicle-based mobile mapping, this kind of performance – in the absence of infrastructure or GPS accessibility — opens the door to scanning buildings from the inside, and leads to an array of new and exciting applications."