More than a phone with a GPS navigator

Andy Green andy at
Fri Mar 28 12:27:56 CET 2008

Hash: SHA1

Somebody in the thread at some point said:

| What's the advantage of the other ways of locating yourself (GSM, WiFi)
| over GPS?

Power, and they work inside buildings away from windows.

GSM at least will be powered anyway in the normal case, so polling that
every 10 minutes or whatever is relatively cheap.  WLAN just needs to
come up long enough for a scan and can go back to sleep if not already
in use.  It can use GPS as an input too, I don't know the power
consumption but I know in my work room anyway where I spend most time,
at least the proprietary satnav we have here cannot get a signal unless
I go outside.  I guess it is the same in most buildings and that is
where people are most time so it can't be relied on I think.

I really would love WLAN to scavenge open connections as well at the
same time (Holger mentioned this idea but I already cherished it).  So
if you walk down a street and you didn't have Internet connection for a
while, it keeps seeing new APs each scan and on the basis it deduces you
are moving, it can increase the frequency of waking for scan and trying
for association and DHCP on anything it finds, update mail and rss,
maybe alert you it scored a connection.

|> or vibrate, different sorting order for contacts based on who you
|> contacted from that place, etc.
| The latter is very interesting! Indeed: I live in Norway but sometimes

Yes I think if we had a daemon that published information and events
about "place" we would find uses for it, but this kind of thing is real
easy to talk about and much harder to get really right.

- -Andy

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