At this point, your smart phone uses two main methods to figure out where you are. The first one is the obvious Global Positioning System (GPS), of which we all are aware about. This method uses the satellites to figure out your location, and show it on your screen. And the second method is the WiFi.
The surprising fact is that we have been using these two methods since the 70s. So in a way, we can say that we are still using the 70s technology. But when the technology finally advances, and catches up to the 21st century, we can definitely say that it is going to be much better, and creepy in a way. I mean, how you feel if you knew that your phone knows where you are, and what you’re doing? Creepy, right? But most of that advancement will be for the better of all of us.
There is an incredibly clever maths involved while working out your location through the GPS method. And this fancy maths of locating was obviously invented by Albert Einstein. It uses 24 American military satellites from which a signal is beamed, then it decodes that math, and works out your location to an astonishing accuracy of 5 meters. These 24 military satellites provide us global coverage.
This method is mind-blowing, but for satellite navigation, and not for smart phone owners. We want 100% accuracy, and we don’t want to face the difficulties placed by weather, or if we are indoors. So, GPS is kind of useless, because most of the time, we are able to locate ourselves much faster by just asking some other dude. Not to mention that this GPS eats a lot of battery that we could use to chat with our friends on Twitter, and Tinder.
Compare that to a WiFi location detector, you can get your accurate location within seconds, which is the best thing. And because of those huge WiFi databases, this process is even smoother. And if you were wondering how this data is collected. It is done by those cars driving around with those antennas, or simply your smart phone. So when you are connected to a WiFi network, your smart phone is probably gathering the locations of nearby WiFi networks and adding to that database.
And it is obvious that it will consume a lot less battery, since it is just communicating with the WiFi network, and not directly with the satellites. The WiFi location is probably the best way to find out your rough location.
The Indoor Location Technology
Indoor location tracking is also being developed at a fast pace, and much thanks to those new startups that could further utilize our good old WiFi to track our location up to an accuracy of one meter. This accuracy is fair enough, and more useful for us to find our children in those shopping malls.
And if you want some undercover information, this tracking method is also being used with those shops and malls to track their customers. There is also a company that provides the whole analytics data of where and how frequently do customers visit different areas of the shop, or the mall.
There is a company in the US that creates maps of the building with the help of the magnetic fingerprints used in it. And this is not the technology of the millennium. What they do, is take advantage of the steel structures that create a unique magnetic field for those fingerprint sensors. This helps them to track the location of a phone much more accurately without having to install dozens of antennas throughout the building.
The best thing about all of these tracking technologies, is that if you happen to lose anything, you will easily be able to find it. That’s for sure.