For frequent travelers, the challenge isn’t always trying to find the quickest route from point A to point B while on foot, but doing so while steering clear of danger and staying safe, especially in foreign and unfamiliar surroundings. Fortunately, the engineers at Microsoft has figured that out, and the Redmond, Washington software giant was recently awarded a patent for its pedestrian walking navigation technology designed to find the best route for people on foot and also the safest way to navigate through urban terrain.
Microsoft’s mapping system is supposed to be intelligent enough to dynamically change the directions based on the pedestrian’s surroundings, schedule, route preferences, and time of day. The system can even route pedestrians around areas where there it is known to have high crime rates.
If commercialized, the technology may be a good selling point for Microsoft, which is trying to leverage both its Bing Maps and Windows Phone 7 to consumers against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android as well as Google Maps. As a result of Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia, the two companies are also working together on some sort of mapping solution that we’ll be seeing in the future. It’s unclear if these dynamic and smart pedestrian routing system will be part of that product.
The patent was first filed in 2007.
As a pedestrian travels, various difficulties can be encountered, such as traveling through an unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures. A route can be developed for a person taking into account factors that specifically affect a pedestrian. Moreover, the route can alter as a situation of a user changes; for instance, if a user wants to add a stop along a route.