GPS for Barbie: GloPos demos indoor location in a dollhouse

Your dolls will never get lost in their houses again if indoor-mapping-and-location company GloPos has its way.

The Helsinki startup, which we first covered in 2009, has long been refining its location algorithms, which analyze all the available radio signals in a particular spot to generate much more precise coordinates than any GPS or cellular triangulation technology could. By crunching signal data from 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi and even electromagnetic fields created by structural materials, GloPos is honing down its location accuracy to within 10 centimeters (4 inches) in the lab.


What was the best way to demonstrate those capabilities? GloPos brought a multi-story dollhouse into its offices and mapped its radio frequency characteristics onto a detailed floorplan. The result is a miniature home you can navigate with an — albeit oversized — smartphone from any room or floor.

While these are lab conditions, GloPos vice president of strategy and operations Alex Le Bell said in the real world its technology can determine location indoors with one and 10 meters (3 to 32 feet).