Posts Tagged ‘compass’

The History of Location Technology (Mashable)

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

[Editor's note: From the homing pigeon to modern GPS turn-by-turn navigation to location "games." Also see this list of fun facts about GPS via @ManoMarks.]

Republished from Mashable.
By Shane Snow.

With the recent rise of location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt, it would appear that location technology is something new. But in fact, humans have been inventing clever ways to locate each other for many thousands of years.

Even the basic technology that makes today’s location-based checkins possible — cellular triangulation and the global positioning satellite system — have their roots in decades old research projects, and the math today’s apps use to pinpoint your locale hasn’t change too much since the days of Copernicus.

The infographic below details the history of location-based technology, from the most primitive to the most advanced.

View the original at Mashable . . .

locationhistory

‘Augmented reality’ fuses the Web and the world around you (Wash Post)

Friday, November 27th, 2009
yelpwikitude

[Editor's note: Yelp and Wikitude apps are bringing annotated camera view to newer smartphone that have both GPS and compass built in.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
By Rob Pegoraro. Sunday, November 22, 2009

The cameras on some new phones don’t show the world as you’ve known it.

Instead of just viewing the usual landscape of people, places and things on their screens, you see circles, rectangles and icons floating on top of the scenery. Tap one to display a snippet of Internet data about whatever lies behind that tag. As you look around, the view on the phone’s display shifts accordingly, presenting new shortcuts to whatever the Web knows about your surroundings.

The concept goes by the name augmented reality, and it’s been quietly bringing one of the Internet’s hokiest promises to a mainstream audience.

Remember all the hype about virtual reality, in which we’d don headsets to immerse ourselves in some version of the Star Trek holodeck? Augmented reality turns this from a science-fiction idea into something you can experience just by holding a smartphone in front of you at eye level — no goofy goggles or helmets needed.

For that to happen, though, mobile phones had to acquire a few prerequisite capabilities: a fast Internet connection, a high-resolution screen, Global Positioning System reception and a compass. In other words, first the phone had to be able to look up things on the Internet, then it had to be able to show them to you, then it had to find itself on a map, then it had to orient itself in 3-D space.

As a result, “AR” programs didn’t begin to appear on consumer hardware until last year, and many otherwise brainy smartphones still cannot run them — for example, the original iPhone and iPhone 3G and Palm’s Pre and Pixi devices lack compasses.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Magnetometer confirmed for iPhone 3.0? (MacNN)

Monday, May 18th, 2009

iphone_magnetometer_screenshot

[Editor's note: Including a compass in the new iPhone will make the assisted GPS unit more useful for turn-by-turn navigation.]

Republished from Mac News Network.

Rumors of a magnetometer in the next iPhone may have been confirmed, following leaked screenshots of the new iPhone debugging menus. Posted images show a new compass option, which can be turned on and off within General Location settings. Indications of a digital compass were first reported in April, when configuration files were observed to have references such as “auto-focus camera,” “Voice Control” and “magnetometer.”

Apple is expected to release the final version of the iPhone 3.0 firmware this summer, and one or more matching devices shortly after June’s WWDC event. An apparently accelerating schedule for beta firmware may indicate that Apple intends to release iPhone 3.0 on or around WWDC, possibly as a means of circumventing the problems experienced during the iPhone 3G launch last July. In attempting to release new hardware, firmware and the MobileMe online service simulataneously, Apple overburdened networks and left many code problems unresolved.