HKU urban planners trial accurate address navigator

Local | 24 Jul 2018 5:37 pm

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong's department of urban planning and design said today that they have developed a Bluetooth system that would enable people to find precise locations, which could save precious time for emergency service personnel such as ambulance crews, RTHK reports.

The HKU team said hopes businesses, shops and even schools can make use of the new Smart Address Plate system, so people do not have to rely on satellite positioning systems, which can be up to 30 meters out at times.

The researchers said that after using GPS to arrive in the general vicinity of where a person wants to go, the Bluetooth technology via a mobile app would then help guide them to their actual destination.

But for this to work, governments would have to give each address a digital code for the corresponding sensing devices which would have to be installed in every building on a street, or even at multiple points inside the building.

The team estimated that a mall with 300 shops would have to spend HK$700,000 installing and maintaining the devices.

The leader of the research team, Professor Anthony Yeh, said he was hopeful the system will not only become popular in Hong Kong, but worldwide.

"For the shop owners, I think they will have a keen interest. Because with this system, you can find the shop on the web, and then the map can guide you all the way from outdoors to the exact position," Yeh said.

Yeh said his team was in the process of applying for a patent and was looking for any takers for the system. But in the meantime, he said, the team will try it out on the university campus.

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