GPS rules your life. At least, it rules mine. Without the GPS on my iPhone, I don’t know what I’d do. I have dim prehistoric memories of something called a “map,” and a hazy image of a gas station attendant pointing off into the distance.
The point is, GPS is a technology that has transformed our lives; entire books have been written about the tech and its implications. And yet, in the hedonic treadmill that is our relationship with technology, don’t you still find something… missing? Don’t you wish your GPS was, actually, a little bit… better?
Sebastian Anthony over at Extreme Tech has a thoughtful take on the emerging world of what he calls IPS, or indoor positing technology. IPS isn’t just hyper-refined GPS. Actually, it’s a whole different category of technology, relying on different aspects of our infrastructure to help locate you within a space. Different companies are cobbling together different approaches to IPS, Anthony notes. Google triangulates your position based on the strength of the signal you receive from various hotspots. Nokia opts for a form of Bluetoothy triangulation, while there’s a Broadcom chip that uses NFC. Infrared and “acoustic analysis” has even been experimented with, reportedly. (Bats, meanwhile, echolocate.)