Technology companies are notorious for not working together, lately due to patent issues, so it is always refreshing when they decide to work together for creating something new. What is even more rare is when you have the likes of Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Mobile sitting down to form a technology alliance to be innovative in an area that has been severely lacking in having a mainstream adoption or standard service. It’s great in that case to see that they have come together with 19 other companies to create the In-Location Alliance.
The full list of companies involved are: Nokia, Samsung, Sony Mobile, Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Seolane Innovation, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe. The main purpose of the group according to their press release is to be able to provide a: “high accuracy, low power consumption, mobility, implementability and usability.”
The purpose behind this In-Location Alliance is using existing technology to make a more accurate and advanced version of interfacing with a phone’s GPS. It is a technology that seems as if it should be in place already with how prevalent it is in science fiction shows and how much GPS is already used on phones. Think of it as an example of being in an office building or shopping mall and needing to know how to find a location in the mall or building. Narrow it down even more and imagine being in a store that you’ve never been in before and needing to know where a specific item is. Imagine being in a storage warehouse that you’ve never been in before and needing to find a single box within it. Even navigating larger airports that seem to be a mess to get through could be simplified when this technology becomes widespread and readily available to the public. It could be used to help when navigating museums by delivering information about what is at your specific location in a museum through the headphones plugged into your phone. There are numerous applications for this kind of software though currently there is no standard on what resources can be used.
The goal of this alliance is to make a software standard that would have applications along these lines and more be available on your cell phone which is something currently not available with modern GPS setups. Software developers are already dabbling in ways it can be used but with no standard they could use inferior ways to keep track of this or could interfere with other applications or functionality of your mobile phone.
Also the alliance wants to create a set of standards based off of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a combination of other existing and soon to be released technologies to make these ideas a reality. They are actually close enough due to releases shown off by Nokia that the alliance believes that the first handset devices that will have this technology included will start being released in 2013. It is a new take on the idea behind GPS that is just using it as a more exact measurement of finding locations in a smaller area.