The Forkbeard Install app, powered by machine learning algorithms, provides an easy and cost-effective ‘do-it-yourself’ installation process for customers while enabling remote installations and scalability for Forkbeard. Another technological milestone with a cost saving of 60%.
The challenge – A labor and cost heavy installation process
Forkbeard provides centimeter-level accurate indoor positioning systems (IPS) for smartphones. To achieve maximum accuracy, the technology relies on the accurate installation of ultraBeacons who emit ultrasound and Bluetooth signals.
Prior to the app launch the installation process of the ultraBeacons had to be performed by Forkbeard and Visma Exso, its preferred installation partner for large projects in Norway. The process involved estimating the optimal position of beacons based on past experience, installing them and then iterating on the optimal position via testing.
The reliance on human judgement and repeated testing was adding time and cost to the installation process, as well as making it hard to do remote or large installations. In order to facilitate company growth through scalable deployments, a solution was needed that could reduce time and resource requirements.
The Solution – An ML powered installation app
The Forkbeard Install app offers customers an ‘out of the box’ solution to do the installation themselves in an accurate, simple and cost-effective way. The entire process is guided through an intuitive user interface.
Hans Magnus, the main engineer behind the beacon positioning algorithms in the app, explains:
To start the process, customers need to submit their floor plan to Forkbeard which is then uploaded and made available in the app. Subsequently, Forkbeard’s proprietary machine learning algorithms based on Voronoi Tessellation calculate the optimal installation points for the ultraBeacons. The last step is for the user to scan the serial code of each beacon they are about to install and mount it in the recommended locations.
In addition to the key feature of location recommendations, Forkbeard has developed a range of smart mounting features:
First, the app gives customers the choice to either go with the optimal number of beacons determined by the algorithm for an installation or to specify the number themselves. If the customers choose the latter, the app automatically recalculates the optimal positions for the beacons.
Second, customers can select and move installation points and set desired heights which in turn trigger optimisation of the beacon positions.
Third, customers can also select any existing installation point and get information about the beacon type and its location.
Lastly, customers will receive an alert in case a beacon is offline or missing and the app will offer options to remove existing points while still maximising for possible positioning accuracy.
The result – A step closer in bringing the GPS revolution indoors
This new technological innovation has helped Forkbeard to reduce an already low installation cost by another 60% through improved efficiency. Forkbeard and its installation partner in Norway, Visma, now require substantially less time and human resources in the installation process.
Forkbeard is currently working on removing as much as possible of the physical hardware necessary for indoor positioning. As a consequence, in the future the company will only need to ship the ultraBeacons, grant app access and leave customers with the choice of either doing the installation on their own and saving installation costs, or leveraging our local partners (e.g. Visma Exso) or using their own vendors.
Overall, the Forkbeard Install app has been a major technological breakthrough for Forkbeard in its pursuit to bring about a scalable and global revolution in indoor positioning.