Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Wi-Fi Provides LBS For Local Search

From DirectionsMag.com Wi-Fi aids location determination for local search and asset tracking .

If GPS or assisted-GPS can not accurately meet the requirements for the FCC's E911 mandates, then Wi-Fi may be the next technology embedded into cell phones and other mobile devices.

No less surprising is the potential for Wi-Fi to assist local search. With all of the interest by Microsoft, Google, MapQuest and Yahoo to compete for advertising dollars and use local search to squeeze more from local market retailers and others, Wi-Fi is an obvious catalyst.

Skyhook now has a database of Wi-Fi hotspots in 25 major cities and hope to hit 100 cities by year end. They employ a proprietary scanning technology to "sniff" for Wi-Fi access points and retrieve the base station's name and unique identifier.

Skyhook is in a pilot phase with another company to build a broker layer between A-GPS and Wi-Fi to make the hand off to get a more precise location if either A-GPS or GPS fails to do so. So, the possibility exists that future handsets will employ GPS and Wi-Fi chipsets to aid location determination

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