Newsletter Editorials

Rugged GPS-Enabled Windows Laptops

February 7, 2012By

I brushed the snow from my keyboard and in my mind I could hear the neighbors whispering, "Call the men in white coats, there he goes again." They may have cause for concern, as I am sitting on my deck during a lull in a major blizzard, typing on a laptop computer half buried in snow. My warfighter correspondence indicates that some war tasks call out for a rugged laptop rather than a rugged handheld device; thus, this cold warrior test of a device with embedded GPS capability. read more

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Let’s Hear It for the Supremes!

January 24, 2012By

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling on GPS use for tracking criminal suspects makes U.S. law clear on this issue going forward, but it does not address tracking for commercial aspects. One U.S. newspaper editorialized, “the unanimous decision failed to resolve troubling questions about the privacy rights of Americans in the face of intrusive modern surveillance technology.” The privacy picture in other large markets — Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia, China, and elsewhere — remains even less clear. If GNSS should be perceived as a tool of Big Brother (government) or Big Broker (industry selling and buying consumer location data), then all navigation systems acquire a big PR problem, which translates into big funding and modernization problems. read more

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Location Technology, All in the Cars

January 18, 2012By

Microsoft says this is its last year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Fine. Move over because the car manufacturers are using the show to unveil stunning location and mobile offerings. It has only been a few years since automakers started coming to CES to pitch new in-vehicle mobile platforms. This year automakers have been knocking themselves out to bring smartphones, location and cloud content into the vehicle to enhance the driving experience. The CES invasion by the vehicle OEMs started in 2007 when Ford introduced Sync at CES. Kia followed in 2010 with UVO powered by Microsoft. 2012 brings a multitude of OEM mobile announcements, including one from first-time CES participant Mercedes-Benz. read more

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CES Turning into Big Tech Auto Show

January 13, 2012By

Navigating your way through thousands of booths and 140,000 attendees is a challenge in itself at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. While there was a huge amount of location-based services news, the big deal was the presence of just about every automobile manufacturer. Such off-site meetings as the Consumer Telematics Show, Showstoppers and AT&T Developer’s Conference also highlighted the connected car. read more

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Should GPS Users Accept New ‘Fees’?

January 12, 2012By

This week, I'm pleased to present to you an essay written by Gavin Schrock, a licensed land surveyor (Washington), technology writer and administrator of the Washington State Reference Network (WSRN), which operates 103 GNSS reference stations that comprise the statewide RTK Network. read more

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Where Am I?

January 12, 2012By

I have long advocated that our warfighters and first responders deserve the best equipment available so they can answer the basic question, "Where Am I?" quickly and with complete certainty. Or, "Where am I now and how do I get to someplace of relative safety quickly?" Unfortunately, government-furnished equipment (GFE), in this case the GPS handheld equipment we supply our warfighters, does not do a good or even adequate job of answering that question. read more

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Freemium Model for in-Vehicle LBS

December 20, 2011By

Cloud-based infotainment, more tightly integrated apps, and more personalized offerings will change the in-vehicle mobile experience. Interfaces will morph towards combinations of heads-up displays and voice. These were some of the conclusions from my December 1 webinar “Car as a Mobile LBS Device,” with panelists from Ford, OnStar, Pioneer and TomTom. How in-vehicle apps will be monetized is an open question. When polled, almost half of the webinar audience believed a “freemium” model will prevail. Freemium models work by offering a product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features. read more

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