Nav­i­ga­tion app gives users a real feel for lo­ca­tion

Through the ap­pli­ca­tion, we look to make the CIIE a dig­i­tal expo.”

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

With the help of a “se­cret weapon”, vis­i­tors no longer have to worry about nav­i­gat­ing the world’s largest sin­gle build­ing for con­ven­tions and ex­hi­bi­tions dur­ing the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai.

To guide you in the right di­rec­tion is a nav­i­ga­tion ap­pli­ca­tion freshly de­vel­oped by Liu Erwu, a pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Tongji Univer­sity and his 20-plus-strong team.

The app, or Nav­iguy, for nav­i­ga­tion at the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (Shang­hai), is part of the CIIE of­fi­cial ap­pli­ca­tion that can be down­loaded onto smart­phones in ad­vance.

Be­cause of the spe­cial shape and size of the expo venue, vis­i­tors can eas­ily get lost at the 1.47 mil­lion-square-meter megas­truc­ture, and signs, though help­ful, may not of­fer ac­cu­rate guid­ance, nei­ther can the tra­di­tional po­si­tion­ing res­o­lu­tions such as GPS and Wi-Fi in such a com­pli­cated en­vi­ron­ment, said Liu.

“As such, a nav­i­ga­tion ap­pli­ca­tion in a com­plex in­door en­vi­ron­ment with state-of-art tech­nol­ogy is re­quired,” said Zhou Yang, a man­ager with the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment of the NECC (Shang­hai).

Ac­cord­ing to Liu, the app’s spe­cial al­go­rithm has taken all the po­si­tion­ing el­e­ments into con­sid­er­a­tion to pro­vide users pre­cise po­si­tion­ing with vir­tual re­al­ity fea­tures.

Nav­iguy can di­rect the way even in ex­treme con­di­tions when the phone is on air­plane mode as long as it has the po­si­tion­ing and blue­tooth op­tions on, ac­cord­ing to Liu.

The app is the out­come of an en­thu­si­as­tic and highly mo­ti­vated team, Zhou said. One mem­ber of the de­sign team Qu Xinyu went through three pairs of shoes in three months as he walked around the NECC nu­mer­ous times to mea­sure and con­firm ex­act lo­ca­tions in the ex­hi­bi­tion cen­ter.

The app is also vi­able out­side the ex­hi­bi­tion cen­ter.

“For vis­i­tors who have com­pleted their tour of the CIIE, they can con­tinue to use the ap­pli­ca­tion for traf­fic guid­ance to their des­ti­na­tions in Shang­hai, ei­ther by pub­lic trans­porta­tion, taxi or other modes of trans­port,” said Zhou.

The app also in­cludes func­tions al­low­ing vis­i­tors to pre­view on­line ex­hi­bi­tion halls, find out de­tails of the ex­hi­bi­tion, ac­cess high-speed free Wi-Fi and get real-time trans­la­tion be­tween Chi­nese and English, Zhou added.

“Through the ap­pli­ca­tion, we look to make the CIIE a dig­i­tal expo, al­low­ing vis­i­tors, ex­hibitors and buy­ers to get all the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion and se­cure ser­vices through a smart­phone,” Zhou said.

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