Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amazon’s First Customer Drone Delivery Completed

Amazon GPS drone delivery

This is one of Amazon’s early drone prototypes, but not the kind which made the most recent delivery.

Drone delivery has been on the horizon for a couple years now, and it’s no secret that Amazon has been the front runner for this futuristic convenience. As officials here in the United States have not been overly willing to let drone deliveries go through, Amazon moved its operations and testing grounds abroad and it looks like we’re finally starting to see results.

This month marks Amazon’s first commercial drone delivery to a customer. According to ReCode, the delivery took place on December 7, and consisted of an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. The customer, who lives near the testing facility in Cambridge, England, received his package about 13 minutes after the order was placed. read more

This Week in GPS — December 16, 2016


This week in GPS is a weekly link roundup of (mostly) GPS related odds and ends, from GPS Tracklog and other places around the Web. This week’s featured image is a rendering of a Galileo satellite in honor of the EU’s navigational constellation finally going live this week! Read more about this and other GPS news below: read more

Galileo Set To Go Live Thursday, December 15, 2016


Although it has undergone numerous setbacks, launch miscalculations, and is over budget by more than 8 billion euro, it looks like Europe’s Galileo satellite constellation is finally complete enough to begin sending out signals. In fact, according to GPS Daily, the constellation is set to begin transmitting as soon as tomorrow, December 15, 2016, and it’s been a long time in coming.

This project has been in progress for at least 17 years and cost European taxpayers an estimated 10 billion euros ($11 billion) although it was originally expected to cost around 1.8 billion Euros. Of course, the numerous errors, including launching two satellites into the wrong orbit in 2014, caused the entire program to take nearly twice as long as initially intended.
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Does Overuse of GPS Alter Your Brain?

Auto GPS buyers guide

GPS is simultaneously one of the most important and prevalent technologies of our age. Whether you use a dedicated GPS device, own a smartwatch, have a smartphone in your pocket, or use a computer built in the last couple years, there’s a good chance that GPS is a heavy part of your day-to-day life, whether you realize it or not. And, as with any technology, as the uses grow and the privacy concerns blossom, it leaves people wondering if GPS doesn’t have any unintended consequences.

Overall, GPS is a wonderful thing. I don’t think anyone would argue that the ability to not get lost when driving to your Aunt’s house once a year isn’t useful, or that being able to avoid traffic on your way to that awesome sushi place isn’t nice. But, with the constant outsourcing of mapping and navigational tasks, is it possible that GPS is also affecting your brain? read more

GPS Anomaly in Central Russia May be Spoofing


Photo by Pavel Kazachkov | CC BY 2.0

For the last few months, there have been plenty of odd reports coming out of Russia that there is a GPS anomaly in central Moscow. And, as the reports have become more and more frequent and the Russian government continues to stay quiet on the matter, some people believe that it may, in fact, be a case of GPS spoofing.

According to the CNN report, many people are experiencing glitches in their GPS devices when nearing the Kremlin. This glitch, or anomaly, suddenly forces their device to show users located in Vnukovo airport—nearly 20 miles away from the Kremlin. It’s notable that it’s not just the Kremlin—the signal reportedly fluctuates all around Moscow but is most noticeable closer to the Kremlin.  read more

Black Friday GPS Deals 2016

GPS City Black Friday Cyber Monday

Black Friday is one of the best days of the year to shop, and electronics are usually some of the most discounted items. This year, the GPS deals were a little slimmer than normal, but you can still pick up some fantastic GPS devices for a bit of a discount. Below, you’ll find some deals from top retailers including Amazon, REI, and Cabela’s. And the best part? Most of these deals can be taken advantage of online so you won’t have to fight the crowds. Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

So, while you’re recovering from the Thanksgiving feast, take a look at all of the GPS deals that you can take advantage of either in store or from your armchair. 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.

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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

Do GPS Running Trackers Cause More Harm Than Good?


Photo by Kyle Cassidy via Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of different parts to the world of GPS. From handhelds to automotive or motorcycle devices, GPS trackers, and fitness GPS units, they’re all very different. However, I think that pretty much everyone can agree that the market is changing. Smartphones are causing steady declines in the automotive segment (although it’s still holding on, contrary to all of the dire predictions of analysts in the last few years) and the fitness tracker category has grown to soaring heights of popularity. Heck, there are more fitness trackers that I can keep up with and they run the gamut from professional runner level statistic trackers that do everything but run for you all the way down to glorified pedometers. But, one has to wonder, with the GPS fitness industry growing so fast, what is the effect on users? read more

Pokemon Brings Smartphone GPS Games to Forefront


When you think about GPS, you probably imagine satellites hovering over the Earth, sending down rays of signals to help pinpoint an exact location. Or perhaps it brings to mind your latest hike, run or ride. Maybe you think about getting directions to your in-laws house last Christmas, or your spouse getting lost (somehow) by not paying attention and forgetting their GPS. But for many people GPS will soon be synonymous with something completely different–gaming.

Smartphone gaming has been taking off in recent years, and so it’s not really that much of a surprise that a few companies have begun to utilize ways to use GPS technology to make a game more interactive. Heck, GPS games like Wherigo have been around for years. Even Geocaching is kind of a like a game. But now developers like Nintendo are getting in on the action with popular titles like Pokemon. read more