More experts talk about GPS technology

 By Maureen Aylward

GPS technology is embedded into phones and into devices and the applications are growing and shifting everyday. We asked our Zintro experts about the emerging trends and markets that GPS technology is moving into and the challenges and opportunities for growth in this sector

Tolga Sonmez, an electrical engineer, says that in addition to GPS technology there are other technologies that can fit into small devices, such as inertial sensors, magnetic sensors, and cameras. “There will always be limitations for each sensor. Real potential will be achieved with the fusion of all the available sensors,” he says. “For short interval interrupts of the GPS signals, we can fuse the inertial data to provide an estimate a location. The camera can be used to calculate speed from lane signs and aid in location estimate. The map data, together with the inertial data, can provide a better estimate of a car’s location. Inside buildings, floor plans and ultrasonic sensors can be used for location finding.”

Boniface Yegon, a geospacial engineer, says that the most promising emerging trend with GPS technology is the reverse analysis of the GPS signal to enable the prediction of weather and climates. “This is very important, especially for navigation and agricultural institutions,” he says. “The idea behind this is that the signal that carries health and correctional data from satellite vehicles also shows us the interaction between air particles, water particles and other atmospheric particles. This enables us to compute corrections for positioning and can be used to determine the nature of the atmosphere at a given time; hence, predict the weather.”

Yegon says that the biggest challenge is that there are no major studies that have been done on the topic, or enough technological know-how to make a better system. “If we can develop gadgets that can receive the signal, analyze the signal information, and predict how the weather will be in the next 48 hours or so, then we will be technologically ahead and could avert weather-related calamities like storms, tornadoes, and even droughts.”

Werner Egipsy Souza, a technology consultant, thinks the emerging trends in GPS are the usage of GPS data for child tracking and senior citizen tracking. “GPS trackers placed on each vehicle owned by a family will add to the security of the household,” he thinks. “In the field of advertising and media, GPS data will be the main source of information for brands seeking to reach out to target groups. The challenges are the accuracy of the information, especially in geographies like India where there is a large population difference between urban and rural areas.”

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