Saturday, February 5, 2011

New segments open up to GPS

The Australian cricket team employed GPS satellite tracking devices to get an idea of the distances and speeds they cover on the field.

BANGALORE: In addition to their trademark resilience and aggressive playing style, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology could well be one of the defining factors behind the Australian cricket team’s performance in recent times.

Early this year, the team employed GPS satellite tracking devices to get an idea of the distances and speeds they cover on the field. This provided some interesting such as a significant difference in heart rates between training and competitive matches, which meant they had to train harder.

Cricket apart, GPS is finding its way into many other commercial and consumer areas. A whole new segment called recreational GPS is emerging. Especially in the US, GPS devices are being used for a wide range of consumer applications,” said Ashu Pande, country head, SiRF India, a company that provides chips and software platform for GPS applications.

Hikers and trainers use it not just for location tracking but also to clock data such as speed and height climbed. Once this data is uploaded and processed at the backend, a user gets relevant info such as a comparison with previous outings and activities, time taken to cover the distance and number of calories burnt.

“We prefer to look at GPS as not location based but location enabled services because location by itself is not a killer application. But enabling location within an application makes it a killer application.” SiRF is doing its bit to bring together the ecosystem of application developers, content providers and device manufacturers through its community. This site allows developers to register download the programming suite SiRFStudio, and also interact with the community.

Pande sees synergy between Internet and GPS. “Adding context to Internet content is the key. For example, yahoo takes a user to a specific country home page based on IP address. If the GPS function is added, depending on the location, it could automatically provide relevant info such as weather or traffic updates.”

The US is leading the market in GPS adoption thanks to the 911 mandate which requires phones to be GPS tagged so that those dialing the emergency number 911 can be reached based on the location tracking. India however has been slow on GPS adoption and its uses have been restricted to transport and vehicular tracking.

Pande, however, feels that there is a lot of potential for GPS in the commercial space IN India especially for people management and asset tracking.

“Mobiles fitted with GPS could be relevant in B2B applications in logistics, services industry and also segments which employ a massive sales force.”

“We are working with a customer in Korea to make a cell phone with limited call functions that can send location details back to the enterprise,” he said.

Pande also said that the company is also in talks with the Planning Commission to explore the feasibility of road tolling using GPS devices, on the Golden Quadrilateral highway.

This could be on the lines of the successful deployment of a high-tech road toll system that was launched for heavy commercial vehicles on German highways.

© CyberMedia News



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