Location, location, location

Written by Paper. Posted in Mobile, Technology

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Published on October 18, 2014 with No Comments

Where are you now? And how many other people are in a similar “location” performing a similar task? An app with a virtual “stall” door has taken imagination to a new level, banking on the idea that everybody, everywhere does “business” some time during the day and – well, it lets you share ideas with similarly-engaged others. The iPoo app is among 8,000 apps taking advantage of location mapping capability. By some statistics, there are 300 million location requests from 90 million mobile devices every day. From navigation to augmented reality to social media check-in apps, it’s all about location.
And how exactly do they find you? And if you’re running, can you hide from them? Ultimately, the running may cause you to huff and puff but the hiding is an almost impossible, uphill climb. The equator is an imaginary line across the earth and a sky hook is an imaginary hook in the sky that reaches down and hooks your location. So goes the thinking behind a company called Skyhook with a Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS). Its software synthesizes data from GPS, Cell Phone Towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, stores them in a database and is ready to find your device almost anywhere under the sky.
Global Positioning Satellites are good for open air and rural areas where the satellite can see you. But tall buildings and ceilings tend to block them. Cell phone towers provide a general but not highly detailed location guideline. But Wi-Fi hotspots? They are 100 million strong and growing. Like the GoogleEarth folks, Skyhook sends out vehicles, driving down streets and alleys to detect and record Wi-Fi hotspots for its database. This is all combined and used in the software for location apps. Such software may be fun for the aforementioned app but it’s even better for finding restaurants, movie theaters and with the right accessories, it can tag the location of your digital photos.

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