Oriient from Tel-Aviv announced last week a surprising Earth Magnetic Field Analyzing technology that allows an indoor GPS-like navigation solution inside buildings, such as shopping centers, airports terminals or hospitals. All it needs is a new algorithm to extract data from the magnetic sensor already installed in many smartphones. The company revealed its technology following the completion of a 4 million USD seed funding round led by F2 Capital and the VC arm of Innogy SE from Germany.
The company said it has signed commercial agreements with large undisclosed leading retailers. The round will finance the opening an office in the United States, the potentially biggest market for Oriient. For the next phase of its development Oriient eyes a totally different market: “Our technology is relevant to any device equipped with magnetic sensor,” said the Founder and CEO, Mickey Balter (photo above). “It enables robots to navigate inside buildings without the complexity and costs of cameras and image processing systems.”
Oriient’s algorithm detects minute distortion in earth magnetic field created by the metal rods and beams in the building’s structure. Oriient’s APP import the data from the smartphone’s magnetic sensor and utilize it to create a three-dimensional map of the indoor space. It than generates a dynamic and precise map, to help the users to find a specific location or even a specific product on the shelves of a store, in a precision of approximately 1 meter.
Closing the gap between Shopping and E-shopping
“Retailers are struggling to bring the physical shopping experience closer to the online shopping experience. Our application helps them to close this gap,” said Mickey Balter in an interview to Techtime. “In the physical world, shopping experience can be very tiresome: You know what you want, but not how to find it. About 30% of shoppers leave the store without buying at least one item, weather because they didn’t find it, or didn’t have the time needed for the search. This is a major loss for retailers.”
The company believes its new App is much cheaper than the competitive technology, based on Wi-Fi radio beacons for indoor navigation, which is quite effective but involves massive hardware installations on site with lower accuracy levels (approximately 10-15 meters). Additionally, Oriient’s platform provides comprehensive analytics on consumer’s shopping routines and preferences, to be used for better display and understanding costumers.