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View Full Version : GPS has arrived...


Winterfresh
05-09-2004, 01:20 AM
Yes, you read that right. The big V, over the next few quarters (along with other MAJOR carriers) will be rolling out substantial LBS (location based services) programs to both consumers and enterprise customers. It's coming kids. Bigtime. Watch for announcements from Major carriers over the next year.

If you think that the GPS in our sweet lil i600's are for E911 or just pushing marketing...well, you are right. Partially. However, the Carriers and Handset Mfg's are taking this much further. Soon, with handsets like ours, you won't need a separate GPS SDIO card or a Bluetooth GPS dongle (boohoo Samsung!). In fact, you already have a full-functioning GPS receiver in our phone.

Yep. Thatís right. Full functioning GPS is here, in your i600, right now. Granted its AGPS which uses the Network to 'assist' the GPS engine. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the capability for un-aided GPS is available as part of the API from the RF portion of the device. In laymanís terms, you could be out of coverage (say on a hike) and as long as you had a reasonable view of the open sky could use the i600 replete with full-color maps and tracking programs. Lat/Long/Heading/Velocity/Altitude are all available or can be made available to programs running on the OS. Even better...when you are in coverage, the ability to obtain and almost instant GPS fix.

Over the next few years GPS will be so prevalent, you won't even think about it. There is some very, very cool GPS stuff coming down the pipe and the i600 is the perfect device for this. Hi res screen, extended battery, excellent data profile, SDIO expansion...However, GPS is just another form of information. Where you are. Information while it enables us, can cut the other way.

Like being tracked by your boss, wives and big-business who want to where you are, what are you are doing, where you shop and how much you spend. Mmmmmmmmm mobile SPAM! Hell, thatís nothing compared to allowing the FBI to see exactly where you are for even being a potential suspect to a crime! All without your knowledge! Privacy restrictions! HA! I can't wait!

Chances are, the i600 has a Qualcomm MSM series RF chipset. If so, you can bet it's got the integrated GPSOne RF front-end. Hell even if it's a TI/ST design (which I doubt) it will have the GPS engine. Wager anyone?

Anyway...nuff of the rant. I just love my new lil i600 and was perusing this fine site.

Kris Kumar
05-09-2004, 06:35 AM
Welcome to SPT,

I agree, GPS will enable a slew of killer apps. Not only will it empower us, but will also create a lot of pain - "location based spam", and privacy concerns. And I am glad that Microsoft in its Mappoint Location Services/Enterprise location server has addressed the privacy needs pretty well. Hopefully others will follow them or do a better job.

Sprint in USA has already started providing location based services to enterprises. Good to know that Verizon is doing the same. Where did you come across Verizon's announcement?

I wish...
- phones should have proper GPS receiver instead of AGPS
- phones should provide APIs that enable applications running on the phones to query the location, rather than having to rely on the carrier service for the query (current/planned implementations require carrier support).
- standardization of the above APIs

Kris

Winterfresh
05-09-2004, 08:24 AM
Kris,

Thanks for the welcome. You are quite right. Privacy is a paramount concern and you will see this issue really come to the forefront as LBS evolves. Watch for more and more media and legal coverage here.

The CDMA carriers will be expanding the enterprise stuff even futher and offering consumer grade apps as well. Verizon hasn't officially announced their program...yet. However, there are currently software vendors participating with Verizon's WIN development team based out of New Jersey. It's my understanding that by late summer/early fall you will see the first phases of the program deployed. Expect this to target enterprise customers (naturally). Right now, everyone's playing catch-up to the Nextel/Motorola tandem.

Re: Your wishes
-Too much space and too much power consumption for a seperate RF subsytem beyond the radio. With companies like Qualcomm, TI and others, incorporating the GPS engine into ASIC saves mucho power and boardspace, the 2 biggest issues in handset designs. All you need then is the GPS RF front-end and a multi-band antenna and viola! You now have a very capable assisted or unassisted GPS solution. Technically speaking, the Hybrid GPS solutions (Qualcomm's anyway) can function as stand-alone (no network assistance) GPS reciever.
-That's the down-side currently to the Hybrid solution within the CDMA camps. However, that's pretty much resolved. You will see more GPS information made available when the GPS signal is strong (say outdoors). Conversely, network calculated when the GPS is weak (in a parking garage). A lot of this had to do with issues within the Network Infrastructure relating to 'Assisted' postional information. To illustrate that problem, look at the GSM side of the world with the E-TOA crap. Poor bastards will never make E911...
-The API's are there for the handsets. It's just not on...Yet. They soon will be. As for standardization, Verizon is already making sure the network related API's will be open for at least some limited 3rd party development and you can bet there is already a standard in place. As for PVT solutions from the chipset on the phone unassisted, a simple OTA update pushed out to handsets can enable this information for BREW compatible phones with a MSM5000 series chipset or higher. They just need software to really use the information. Here's where the 3rd party sofware developers come in...

The switch is about to be flipped!