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Does This Signal the End of Mobile GPS?


Article by: robert
Date: 19 Sep 2009

pocketgpsworld.comFinnish start-up GloPos have just launched their much anticipated website announcing their patent-pending software algorithm that enables any basic GSM or CDMA mobile phone to provide accurate location and tracking data without using GPS or Wi-Fi. The location algorithm sends data from a standard phone, using tried and trusted cellular triangulation, to a server that returns location within milliseconds - with a greater precision than GPS.

Two market disruptors can be foreseen:

GPS cannot be used effectively indoors or at all underground - GloPos can be used in both circumstances, this should hugely expand the location market.

GPS cannot be used on older mobile handsets that are not smartphones - GloPos can. If GloPos have got this right, they could see huge returns. Approximately one billion mobile phones are sold every year without GPS capabilities, that's 80% of the market.

GloPos claim urban accuracy of 1 to 30 metres and suburban accuracy of 10 to 40, both including indoors. Standard cell tower triangulation typically achieves somewhere between 100 to 1000 metres.

The indoor capability, coupled with minimal battery drain compared to GPS (meaning that GloPos' positioning will be "always on"), should allow a better experience for social apps such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Latitude.

The fact that someone can be advertised to, indoors, in real-time and within metres of (or within) their outlet is something I would imagine that many companies will get very excited about. Also, think about the possibilities in airports and exhibition halls and imagine the possibility for guerrilla marketing. It looks as if many ideas that have already been put forward in the location based services (LBS) arena may gain popularity.

Geodelic CEO, Rahul Sonnad, a panelist in last week's Mobilize 09 Event discussion on monetising location, imagines a scenario where advertisers could alert a user visiting a BMW dealership that a Lexus test drive awaits them across town. Fellow panelist, WaveMarket CEO Tasso Roumeliotis, who told PocketGPSWorld.com earlier this year that he regarded LBS as an enhancer more than a disruptor, foresaw casinos in Las Vegas alerting known high rollers about gambling credit offers as they entered competing establishments.

GloPos claim that their technology has the potential to quadruple the phone App target market. Their CEO, Mikael Vainio says, "By making all phones location aware, GloPos Technology is set to revolutionize the indoor positioning and social location market, including mobile search and personalized mobile advertising. This will massively expand the positioning market."

Three questions:

Will the likes of Apple allow such software to effectively power the thousands of location based Apps on their iPhone?

At the cost of delayed customer upgrades to smartphones, will the mobile industry embrace the change so that the software can be used on old handsets?

Will the software actually work as advertised?

Will PocketGPSWorld.com have to rebrand to PocketGloPosWorld.com? OK, that's 4 questions :)

Comments
Posted by rjbsec on Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:58 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Will the software actually work as advertised?


Ah, now there's a question Very Happy


Secure your car? - Why not your home?

 
Posted by mikealder on Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:22 pm Reply with quote

Even IF (and thats a big IF) this software actually works try taking a unit up a mountain where GPS can really be of benefit, as soon as you are out of network coverage this system would be as useful as a chocolate fire guard.
It might be fine for the big city dwellers that get lost in shopping malls, but I doubt its a serious contender to the true capability GPS offers. I would also like to see how well it can work in large multi story buildings, I bet its not capable of working out which floor you are on and reflections from the walls will seriously degrade accuracy - For example you might know you are in the Blue Water center, but as for being outside the entrance to the Apple shop within the complex you will still be relying upon your own sense of direction and the arcade maps IMHO - Mike


 
Posted by mrfrank on Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:15 am Reply with quote

Mmmhh,

According to http://gigaom.com/2009/09/11/glopos-bets-handsets-without-gps-can-provide-better-than-gps-accuracy/, and I quote,

Quote:
GloPos’ “secret sauce” is in its location algorithm, which sends small amounts of data — as little as 100Kb — from a standard phone to a server that returns a precise location within milliseconds.


Well, for proper guided navigation you need to update your location at least once a second.
So, 2 hours journey is about 2*60*60=7200 seconds, which is then 7200*100Kb = 720000Kb = 702Mb of data. That is a lot of data to pay to your mobile operator, or more than enough to finish your monthly allowance if you have a flat rate (I would say few days to finish it off).

GPS is to stay.

This technology may be really only good for occasional LBS services, such as Latitude and similar.
Mobile operators would be very wary of embedding this technology on their mobile phones (at least on the operator own branded variants) without proper control, as it could easily congest their data network.

Cool


 
Posted by AliOnHols on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:12 am Reply with quote

If I was walking down my High Street and my mobile phone was being bombarded with unsolicited adverts of "special offers" and invites for shops which I should or should not be going into, my mobile would soon end up in the bin and I would revert to the trusty Pay Phone and a stand alone SatNav.

It's not until you read something like this that you realize just how omnipresent Big Brother really is and how your every move is being logged, Truly sinister stuff.


Garmin Nuvi 2599
Android with CamerAlert, OsmAnd+, Waze & TT Europe.
TomTom GO 730, GO 930, GO 940 & Rider2.
SatMap Active 10.

 
Posted by M8TJT on Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:07 am Reply with quote

mikealder Wrote:
I bet its not capable of working out which floor you are on .......- For example you might know you are in the Blue Water center, but as for being outside the entrance to the Apple shop within the complex.....

And GPS will Question


 
Posted by mikealder on Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:48 am Reply with quote

M8TJT Wrote:
And GPS will Question


No it certainly won't but when claims such as this are made for new technology:

"GPS cannot be used effectively indoors or at all underground - GloPos can be used in both circumstances, this should hugely expand the location market."

I want to see some proof as to how effective it will actually be, I know the answer, but I would like to see what the develpoers of this system can claim/ proove or is this just more marketing hype with very selective use of the truth - Mike


 
Posted by mcwarre on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:01 am Reply with quote

Is it 1st April already??? Laughing Laughing


 
Posted by Kar98 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:47 am Reply with quote

mcwarre Wrote:
Is it 1st April already??? Laughing Laughing


Exactly what I am thinking.


 
Posted by M8TJT on Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:57 am Reply with quote

mikealder Wrote:
M8TJT Wrote:
And GPS will Question


No it certainly won't but when claims such as this are made for new technology:

"GPS cannot be used effectively indoors or at all underground - GloPos can be used in both circumstances, this should hugely expand the location market."

I want to see some proof as to how effective it will actually be, I know the answer, but I would like to see what the develpoers of this system can claim/ proove or is this just more marketing hype with very selective use of the truth - Mike

Mobiles don't usually work in tunnels (underground) or do they? I treated it with some sceptisism as well Very Happy


 
Posted by duxsoft on Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:14 pm Reply with quote

Interesting, this sounds just like the system developed by Cambridge Positioning Systems about 10 years ago. That system was invented by Peter Duffett-Smith, a Cambridge radio astronomer. It used a small amount of proprietary software in the mobile handset to send a short, compressed, message containing measurement information about the basestations that the mobile could hear to a central server which then calculated the mobiles position and sent it back to the mobile. The CPS system also used an overlay network of measuring receivers to compensate for the fact that the mobile base station transmitters were not phase locked.

I worked on some of the infrastructure equipment for a trial system around Cambridge, and local GSM handset software company TTPCom developed some test handsets.

Quote:
announcing their patent-pending software algorithm that enables any basic GSM or CDMA mobile phone to provide accurate location and tracking data without using GPS or Wi-Fi.


I trust they have done their due diligence, as Peter was quite hot on patenting his idea. here's a link to one of his patents that describes how the CPS system worked - filed in 2000 and granted in 2008.

Did it work? Absolutely.

Could they persuade the mobile manufacturers to license the technology for their handsets? I'll let you guess the answer to that one Wink


 
Posted by scarymonkey on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:53 pm Reply with quote

I see this being an addon to GPS, much like Google Maps currently uses some sort of cell triangulation if GPS is either disabled or there is no lock. Each solution will have its benefits and problems so having both available would for me be the best course of action.

I certainly would not like to use this kind of positioning as my sole method of navigation lock. As has been said, in remote areas of the country there is either no signal or at the most limited signal. I can't see it getting an accurate fix in these circumstances.


Vince Marsters

 
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