you think you have seen all possible GPS accessories already - from a wired GPS
mouse to a Bluetooth connected receiver to an embedded GPS system? Hold on -
BlueSky Positioning takes it even further and put the whole GPS receiver onto a
Launching today, BlueSky Positioning's new approach incorporates a highly
accurate GPS receiver and proprietary antenna into the SIM card, which provides
the opportunity to deploy precise, legally-mandated positioning capability
quickly and cost-effectively across all mobile handsets.
Following publication of a significantly strengthened European Union (EU)
directive, expected later this year, EU member countries will have just 18
months to implement a law requiring operators to identify the precise location
of callers to the E-112 emergency services, potentially to an accuracy level of
just a few meters.
Similar to the E-911 legislation in the US, the new law is
designed to improve emergency services' reaction and response times due to
improved location accuracy and therefore increase levels of public safety.
However, over 50 per cent of emergency calls in the EU are made from mobile
phones - and current network-based positioning technologies on the market cannot
provide the degree of accuracy required.
Enabling high-accuracy location technology could be an enormous challenge for
operators - there are 500 million mobile phone users in the EU. To comply with
this legislation would mean a massive handset upgrade program - a hugely
expensive and complicated task.
BlueSky Positioning has developed patent-pending technology and processes to
embed Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) capability in the SIM card or
USIM in the case of 3G handsets, with minimal impact on signal strength and
battery life. This means that operators need only replace the SIM cards, not the
phones themselves - a far more manageable solution.
BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS SIM uses an assistance data server in the mobile
network to reduce the location identification time (Time To First Fix) and
increase accuracy, particularly within buildings and densely populated areas. By
embedding this accurate location capability in the end-user (U)SIM, SIM card
manufacturers can enable swift and effective rollout and compliance - and faster
emergency response times.
The A-GPS SIM can also enable the delivery of a whole new set of
location-based services to the consumer without compromising their privacy.
Operators can quickly build critical mass and benefit from the full revenue
potential of accuracy-based LBS applications such as navigation, tracking,
routing, personal security and zone-based billing.
Risto Savolainen, BlueSky Positioning CEO, said "The LBS market has
promised much and delivered little. This strengthened EU legislation to
enhance public safety services will also catalyse the LBS market by putting
the means of access into the hands of every user. Working with SIM card
manufacturers, BlueSky Positioning enables mobile operators to embed the
service in every consumer's SIM and USIM card, without compromising the
existing levels of card security and privacy protection.
A new handset costs anywhere between Ã¢â€šÂ¬100 and Ã¢â€šÂ¬500 plus. A replacement (U)SIM
is a tiny fraction of the cost. It's a much smaller price to pay for better
safety and the opportunity for a whole new range of applications."
Okay, so far it's a proof of concept and not available for the mass market
and I wonder if we might really see it coming soon? Anyway - if it comes I hope
it's also accessible for 3rd party applications like on-board navigation
software. I don't want to use SIM Application Toolkits anymore, that's so 90's.
Cheers ~ Arne