WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first GPS-enabled cell phone, developed by Navsys Corporation, is now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Time and Navigtion exhibition, which opened today. This device marks an important step in GPS history that paved the way for positioning to become the integral component of communications technology that exists today, Navsys said.
Navsys assisted in the development of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Emergency Vehicle Location System Mayday platform in 1995. To address the need for faster notification and responsiveness during emergencies, Navsys was contracted to integrate GPS positioning into a cell phone so that location information could be sent to a communications center for mobile 911 calls.
One of the enabling technologies Navsys developed for this system was LocaterNET. When activated by a user’s in-vehicle unit (IVU), LocaterNET collects a snapshot of raw GPS information. That information is then sent to a remote processing system to determine the user’s location. This technique allowed for low power consumption and processing requirements for the IVU, which is vital for small form factor personal navigation and communication devices.
“We are honored to be a part of this exhibition and for the awareness it creates for how GPS technology has advanced many other technologies we use today,” said Alison Brown, president and CEO of Navsys.
The Smithsonian exhibition covers a multitude of navigation and timing innovations and opens on April 12. A detailed description of the LocaterNET Mayday platform can be found here.