GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It is a technology that is used to track down people and things. When they are used in mobile phones it provides a service that can be highly effective in the event of an emergency. Some brands of mobile phones have integrated this technology in their products. Phones like the Nokia 6110 Navigator, several models of Blackberry and the Nokia N95 all have this technology on board their phones.
Generally, phones that have this feature are more expensive and are top of the line models. But as the price of the technology begins to drop, the phones will become better and cheaper as well. Mobile phone makers are waiting to integrate this technology in all of their products.
Currently, navigation is the main use of GPS, but that’s not what’s interesting the investors. While people who refuse to use paper-based maps rely on GPS for accurately pinpointing locations, the ultimate use of GPS technology will be using it to deliver location-specific services. The software used with the GPS satellite links will be able to show a particular person’s exact location, allowing emergency services, businesses and other individuals to track down the person, whenever needed.
While the ultimate GPS usage may seem to be a privacy violation, the idea is to safeguard the public and enhance business services through the technology. Government regulations in each country specifies the limitations of GPS utilisation and they restrict anyone from using the technology to gather intelligence on anyone without their explicit permission.
GPS still suffers from the interference of tall buildings and areas that are under development. Technology is working to eliminate this problem. Currently, GPS is able to locate specific areas and roads by locating the person using a GPS-enabled phone. Phones that have GPS functioning are able to get information based on the individual locations.
In the future, GPS mobile phones will be connected with social networking sites, allowing the two parties to communicate in real-time. So, the sites can be updated as and when things happen in one place.
The first step has already been taken by social networking sites such MySpace and Facebook, by introducing a mobile-screen version of their sites. The objective is to allow user generated content to be provided easily and efficiently via the user’s specific location.
While GPS technology is a relatively new and great way to keep track of children, elderly relatives, important commercial arrivals and departures etc, it may become quite an annoying applied science for the general public. This is because, if the technology is used by unscrupulous marketers, they can target location-specific advertisements to each GPS mobile phone user.