Locata: The New GPS?
January 4, 2013 11:50 AM
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The new ground-based tech can pinpoint locations outdoors and indoors
GPS struggles to find your exact location
at times, a new positioning technology could step up and give a more accurate area both indoors and outdoors.
The new positioning technology is by Locata, and it uses ground-based equipment instead of satellites to send a radio signal over a certain area. This signal is reportedly a million times stronger than a GPS signal.
While GPS mainly gives outdoor locations, Locata's ground tech is tackling indoor locations such as huge shopping malls as well. Its receivers can be small enough to fit inside a cell phone, so if shoppers are lost in a large mall, they can use Locata on their smartphone to find a certain area.
When tested at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Locata worked to within 18 centimeters along any axis. GPS typically has location resolutions of a few meters. Locata's technology could bring the resolution as far down as 5 centimeters in the future, making location pinpoints even more precise.
Locata's signal is much stronger because solid objects like GPS signals don’t block it as easily. However, Locata could still use some help in urban settings with many buildings packed so closely together.
It is suggested that Locata's tech will not replace GPS, but rather, work with it to offer both satellite locations and ground-based locations for
greater accuracy in different situations
. For example, the Jigsaw Positioning System uses both Locata and GPS to guide the placement of drill rigs in Western Australia.
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This sounds like it could be another component
1/4/2013 4:32:27 PM
of the "wired house" vision of the future. All of your electronic devices have WiFi and a form of GPS integrated, and connect to a server-type computer in the home.
Buying something new and hooking it up is as simple as plugging it in and telling it to connect to the correct WiFi. From there, software on the server identifies what it is, where it is, and what its capabilities are. Then users can name and configure the device from the server.
Getting various devices to work together is all handled by the server, so if you want your new speaker for example to become part of your home theater setup, you'd simply tell the computer to include it in that setup. Based on where it is and how it's oriented, the audio software would figure out what channel(s) it corresponds to and direct the audio there appropriately during playback.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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