Thursday, 19 December 2013

SmartLoc software for Android Smartphones

Four researchers have developed SmartLoc software for Android Smartphones, which will double the positioning in navigation devices, especially in cities virtually. It also saves battery power. These four researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and Tsinghua University in Beijing have developed SmartLoc intelligent software that optimizes the GPS navigation in large cities. In the downtown area, the position determinations by satellite are frequently disturbed by tall buildings.

Conventional devices then determine the position with accuracy of about 40 meters. With SmartLoc, the localization accuracy can almost be doubled. As soon as GPS reception is insufficient, SmartLoc employ the motion sensor of a smart phone instead of GPS in order to calculate the position relative to the last given location via GPS.

The individual movement patterns that occur to the left or right, for example, while crossing a bridge, when braking or accelerating after the turn, are stored in a database and with the current data of the motion sensor and card material, such as Google Maps, then it is adjusted accordingly. When the GPS reception is good, the measurements of the motion sensor are compared with the GPS data to optimize future position determination. The system is not perfect and the refining is going on.

 Factors such as slow traffic, long waits at red lights or jams can distort the distance traveled since it is programmed to calculate the distance with last GPS reception. The training mode is to reduce this error rate with time. The researchers have tested SmartLoc in Chicago, which applies for navigation devices as a nightmare, because of the many high-rise buildings that reflect the GPS signal in the downtown area. Nevertheless, it was possible with SmartLoc to achieve a position accuracy of 20 meters for 90 percent of all test runs. The pure GPS navigation was as accurate in less than 50 percent of the tests. The previously developed software for Android also turns the power-hungry GPS reception at poor values hence it is put off automatically to conserve battery power.

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