BENGALURU: In a world with billions of connected sensors, advanced location positioning technology is unlocking new opportunities for businesses everywhere.
HERE Technologies, a Swiss-based provider of location services to the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, and semiconductor company MediaTek have collaborated to enable the HERE Network Positioning solution on select MediaTek chipsets.
HERE Network Positioning employs proprietary technology to determine a device’s location rapidly and accurately based on mobile network and Wi-Fi signals. As part of this collaboration, MediaTek offers to device manufacturers a 4-in-1 combo solution based on the MediaTek MT2503 product family, a highly-integrated ARM-based SiP design that contains Bluetooth, multiple GNSS receivers and an integrated 2G modem. In one of the first implementations, 3G Electronics, a China-based IoT customer of MediaTek, recently introduced a children’s smartwatch series called KidsWatch, which is powered by MediaTek chipsets featuring HERE’s Network Positioning solution in products sold outside China.
MediaTek says it has connected more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide a year and creates platforms for trackers and intelligent wearables, home and office appliances, and connected facilities. Today, the company is a category leader in key consumer electronic areas including phones, digital TVs and android tablets.
So how does HERE Network Positioning work? Most smart devices today use Assisted GNSS services. These supplement satellite services such as GPS with position information obtained over an Internet connection to provide a faster first fix of the device’s position. For most applications, this means people can start using a map or other location-based service within a couple of seconds.
HERE says that its positioning technology goes further by using a device’s built-in appetite for radio signals to obtain a fix. When connected, a smartphone is continually looking for cellular network signals and Wi-Fi networks. By compiling this information, it can be turned into an ever-growing map of the planet’s radio environment, which is exactly what HERE has done. A subset of this radio map can also be preloaded in the device and provide the service offline. Today, HERE has a global database of hundreds of millions of cellular towers and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Using this system, HERE positioning services can look at the list of which cellular and Wi-Fi networks are available and derive the device’s position. By knowing which signals are in range, the device can work out exactly where it is. Since this technology uses the existing measurement technology of smartphones and most other connected devices, network positioning does not require any additional power-consumption and re-uses the signals already obtained.
HERE is already serving several solution providers and device manufacturers with positioning services, incorporated into their own software.
The cloud based APIs offered helps in tracking of goods, people, and things. This allows developers, logistics providers, and other customers to, for example, accurately track inventory and offer truly accurate and efficient supply chain management capabilities.