Context Aware, Location Aware, or Location Based Services, regardless of the terms you use there is no doubt location services are going to change the way business is conducted. There will be competitive advantages gained in understanding the technology and applying the tools to your own company. In the past, field visibility has always been a challenge at an affordable price, however today’s smartphones are changing the game. The technologies inside today’s phones and complementing software services are making smart devices common tools of the trade. The hardware components inside these phones is vastly improved with huge gains in accuracy and reliability. Gone are the days of having a dedicated PND (Portable Navigation Device) or Fleet Tracker when everyone carries a cell phone. How does this stuff work?
At a high level, smartphones will use Wireless Carrier Towers, WiFi, and dedicated GPS chips. It is often listed as Cell ID, WiFi, and GPS. We all use these technologies on a daily basis. I remember when I was younger we navigated boats by Loran-C and then later civilian satellite navigation with GPS. I remember the days prior to loran-c when we went Grouper fishing 50 miles offshore you would leave the inlet and take a compass heading and run for “x” number of hours to our favorite fishing spot. Often, these fishing spots were no bigger than 20-50 feet wide so most of the time you had to troll around looking for the spot with your depth finder. You could get in the vicinity but due to variables like wind, current, faulty compass readings, or pilot errors you were never guaranteed fish. That all changed […]