Opinions

Highlights from the Grand-Daddy of All GNSS Technical Conferences

September 23, 2015By
Harxon-antennas-and-radios-W

The ION GNSS+ 2015 Conference once again fielded a jam-packed agenda of papers on subjects  from world-wide constellation updates, through GNSS integrity, indoor navigation demonstrations, multi-constellation/function chipsets, interference mitigation and jamming detection, privacy issues, and many other very interesting subjects.   That’s GNSS+ in the conference name, as in “plus,” denoting the many other positioning, navigation, and timing technologies it covers.... read more

CTIA 2015 Recap: What Mattered Most

September 14, 2015By
Janice Partyka writes from CTIA in Las Vegas.

About 30,000 attendees sweltered in Las Vegas for CTIA’s Super Mobility show this past week. Attendance was flat from last year, but the exhibit floor and meeting rooms bustled. The energy of the show focused on M2M and Internet of Things (IoT). In past years, the connected vehicle was a highlight, but not so this year. Wearable technology was scant. Those looking for the big product introductions of the past were disappointed. However, CTIA’s keynote speakers added focus and vision into the show, reminding us of the drive and vigor that built the industry. read more

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Why Did Google Scrap Its Location Service?

September 14, 2015By
Kevin Dennehy

Reasons Cited Include Privacy, Lack of Retail Support
Google Here, a proposed beacon-based location service operating within Google Maps, was reportedly cancelled due to a concern by Alphabet CEO Larry Page’s that it would be too invasive by the users of his mapping service. When the location industry has such a dominant player pull out of a nascent, and potentially lucrative, proximity service, does it mean that consumers will now have to wait for a full-scale rollout? Google will remain a major player with its Google Maps app, but where does it go from there? read more

Lost Over the Pacific

September 9, 2015By

There I was, well above Angels 40, sound asleep wearing a positive pressure oxygen mask and helmet with the droning of multiple jet engines in the background for company. Then, I was abruptly awoken by an aircrew member urgently calling my name. On waking I noticed that it was colder and darker than I remembered when I had nodded off. The only light was that strange ambient light you only experience at high altitudes, and there was zero radio chatter in my helmet headset. read more

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More, More, More. Accuracy, Accuracy, Accuracy.

September 2, 2015By
How accurate is good enough for the majority of this sector?

Reliable, consistent positioning accuracy has always driven new product development in the survey and mapping sector of the GPS/GNSS market. It’s remarkable how quickly the provided accuracy in successive new survey products over the years has increased the required accuracy from users and customers in the field, and consequently the desired accuracy in a feedback loop to the product developers.... read more

Out in Front: Addiction on the Rise

September 1, 2015By
How accurate is good enough for the majority of your market sector? This chart show the answers from those who identified themselves as members of the survey and high-precision community. For more results from this and other sectors, see the 2015 State of the GNSS Industry Report.

Memory fails as to who first said “Accuracy is addictive.” Or perhaps it’s my knowledge base that is deficient. At any rate, I’ll gladly publish documented evidence from anyone who can show the earliest — print or audio — expression of that dictum. It continues to hold as true for this industry as Moore’s Law does for computer technology as a... read more

Commercial Systems Touted for Indoor Emergency Services

August 27, 2015By
OnStar booth features wrecked car to portray emergency messaging capabilities at APCO.

It is refreshing to see such nascent technology as indoor location being used to enable accurate emergency services response. That’s what’s going on right now as beacons, Wi-Fi and other technology that works inside, where GPS doesn’t work, is being tested nationwide by companies hoping for government adoption. With new FCC regulations that are finally trying to keep up with commercial location products, it may be a reality soon. What really drove location into wireless handsets was the 1990s FCC regulations — will they now drive indoor positioning? read more

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Post-Mortem on Flight MH370 Crowdsource Search

August 27, 2015By
Janice Partyka

Last year, in a massive crowdsourcing effort, eight million volunteers from around the world sat at their computers and searched high-resolution satellite imagery looking for signs of Malaysia flight 370, which had left Kuala Lumpur and never arrived in Beijing. The effort was akin to putting thousands of digital helicopters into the sky above 340,000 square kilometers of ocean. The... read more

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