Indoor Positioning Systems could solve GPS woes

Apr 25, 2012
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All the technology crammed into our small phones is truly remarkable, but sometimes it can all go completely wrong. GPS is one such example, working perfectly when you have a clear view of the sky, and slowly dropping off once you delve further into the modern concrete jungles. Trying to get a signal indoors is especially bad, so how do we get around the problem? The advent of the Indoor Positioning System may just be what’s needed.

Broadcom has recently released a new chip, the BCM4752, that will support IPS systems. The importance of the Broadcom chip lies in its ability to support different IPS implementations via WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC. The chip would also tap into a smartphones other sensors, such a the compass and accelerometer, to be able to track your movements after taking the initial GPS data.

For example, Google Maps on Android already has a similar feature with 2D maps of retail stores and airports, but it tracks you via WiFi, which can only roughly work out your positioning depending on the number of hotspots within the building. Nokia meanwhile thinks Bluetooth is the solution, which would also calculate your position via triangulation with the benefit of being higher resolution, but it would require lots of Bluetooth beacons scattered around buildings to work effectively.

Indoor Positioning Systems are expected to see further development in the near future. Once companies do find a solution to the issue, expect to see IPS making its way to heavily populated areas sooner rather than later.

[via Extremetech]


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