Sunday, March 18, 2012

TomTom Introduces On-Street Parking Service


We all know the struggle of trying to find parking. It’s especially frustrating to me when I am in an unfamiliar city, usually downtown, and one way streets are getting me turned around!

Fortunately, TomTom is working on a solution for its customers. The company recently announced an On-Street Parking Service. It seems TomTom is staying on track to further develop technology needed for self-driving, or autonomous vehicles. Of course, there are other benefits as well. read more

Polar Introduces M200, New GPS Running Watch

Polar Electro, a company that focuses on manufacturing sports training computers, recently unveiled a new GPS-enabled running watch called the Polar M200. The Polar M200 is currently available for purchase in the United States at $149.95, as well as a few other countries, and will be available globally toward the beginning of 2017.

The concept behind the Polar M200 was an easy-to-use fitness device that still boasted the latest technology. Polar wanted this watch to be good for new runners, but appealing to those who are advanced as well. read more

GPS Enabled Pedal to Decrease Band Theft


Unfortunately, stealing from music groups in St. Louis is pretty common. It’s an issue that has been going on for years, and ultimately is hurting the music scene in the city. Robberies of tour vans have become so common, in fact, that many artists refuse to play in St. Louis anymore.

One musician who suffered from the robberies, a hip-hop artist that goes by Spose, went as far to say, “If you wanna see me perform in the future come to Chicago or something, cuz St. Louis is dead to me.” Obviously, there is a real need for something to solve this issue, so Jesse Caron, St. Louis native and owner of Gigbox, decided to take matters into his own hands.  read more

No Satellite Next-Gen Navigation System


Credit: UCR

We all know that while GPS is great for getting us from point A to point B and about a million other things, but there are still flaws in the system. There are instances when GPS signals just can’t reach you, not to mention the signals put out from GPS are actually pretty weak, which leads to spoofing and jamming. Of course, GPS issues are no small problem for conventional cars, but with self-driving cars and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on the rise these issues could become a lot worse. We will need a much more accurate navigation system, or at least a back-up.

Currently, the only global navigation systems in place or developing operate by using satellites. This includes the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and Europe’s Galileo. Since all of these systems function primarily the same, they all have about the same accuracy. The University of California Riverside (UCR) has the Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, and Navigation (ASPIN) team focusing on creating an alternative navigation system, and they’ve recently made some big discoveries.

read more

Built in GPS Disappoints Customers


Technology in the world today is advancing so fast that it is sometimes hard to keep up. With that being said, more and more cars are coming equipped with a built-in navigation systems so that consumers won’t need to use a stand alone model or their smartphone.

Unfortunately, while the technology is becoming available for the public, not many people are utilizing it. In a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, it was revealed that about 1/3 of people who had built-in navigation gave up on it after less than 2 weeks, and more than half never used it at all. Additionally, almost 2/3 of people with the built-in navigation said that they continue to use their smartphone as a GPS at least some of the time. read more

Garmin Releases New GPSMAP 276Cx


Back in 2004, Garmin released the GPS 276C which was very popular, as it was an all terrain device that could be used on land and sea. Since the navigator was so well-liked, Garmin decided to revamp the device with up-to-date technology and recently unveiled the GPSMAP 276Cx.

“We’re excited to introduce a fresh and versatile update to the classic all-terrain navigator… Back by popular demand, and updated to fit the 2016 user, the GPSMAP 276Cx can handle anything users want to put it through, no matter if they are out on the water, hitting the trails or cruising through city streets,” Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales boasted. read more

Government Calling For Solution to “Death By GPS”


It looks like people are starting to get fed up with geographic information systems (GIS) including information that is no longer up to date. Consumers are so reliant on the information stored in their GPS device that they actually follow the directions into danger sometimes, an event referred to as “death by GPS” by some national park rangers.

“Maps are getting so good at tying point A and point B together that they (people) are blindly following this data down roads that barely exist, that were abandoned years ago,” Rick Hamilton, member of the Civil GPS Service Interface Committee commented. read more

New UAS Rules Expand Drone Market

GPS drone (UAS) with GoPro camera

GPS drone (UAS) with GoPro camera; Creative Commons image courtesy Don McCullough

Drones somehow feel a little bit like the future to me, and it’s crazy to think that they are actually delivering things now. As with all growing industries, there are going to have to be some regulations put into play. Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), had a new rule go into effect at the end of August.

The Small UAS Rule (Part 107) took away some of the limitations associated with U.S. commercial drone flights. This will lead to a big boost in the growing drone industry, which depends on GPS for most of its successes. During 2015, more than a million drones were sold throughout the U.S., but that’s less than half of the 2.4 million drones that were sold during the first half of 2016. read more

Telecommunication Networks Help Backup GPS

gps satellite IIF

GPS systems are actually pretty easily disrupted, whether it be by radio interference or weather outside of our control. For a while now, it has been a concern—especially with federal agencies—what would happen if GPS went down for some reason. While it might not seem like a big deal, GPS is used for many things more important than getting you to the closest Wal-Mart—including keeping time.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) have been performing tests alongside two companies, CenturyLink and Microsemi, to see if there is a practical back up to GPS systems already in place so that a disruption wouldn’t effect major systems like timekeeping. read more

Pokémon Go Increases General Public’s Spoofing Knowledge


Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game where players go to actual locations (museums, stores, churches) using GPS to capture Pokemon and visit PokéStops. Originally designed to get you out of the house while you hunt, encouraging both socializing and exercising, days into the release of Pokemon Go players had already discovered a way to cheat.

It’s really just the basic spoofing concept—making an electronic think that it is somewhere other than its real physical location. We are no strangers to the idea of spoofing, and by tricking their phones GPS to think it was somewhere they weren’t, the game got a lot easier. Most spoofers don’t even have to leave the house—eventually your phone thinks it’s walking when it’s not. read more