Blog Archives

FOURSQUARE BEING SUED BY SHELL COMPANY OVER GPS

A shell company by the name of Silver State Intellectual Technologies, Inc. is suing Foursquare over an alleged patent problem, an ongoing problem in the technological world these days. It isn’t just Apple vs. Google, sometimes it’s a no-name company created to conceal the identity of the larger corporation that created it. What, exactly, do the patents in question cover? Well, documentation claims the patents are related to the “system and method for user navigation” and the “GPS publication application server.” Yes, you read that right: they are suing Foursquare over GPS.

 

The puzzling thing is why Silver State Intellectual Technologies is singling out Foursquare seeing as there are numerous other companies tying GPS into their services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google to name a few. All of these sites offer location-based services for their social networking sites. Why only Foursquare?

 

The lawsuit, filed on July 25, 2012 states Silver State Intellectual Technologies, Inc. is based in Las Vegas, NV and owns a patent called GPS Publication Application Server which was issued on March 11, 2008, as well as a patent called System and Method for User Navigation issued on January 6, 2009. The suit states that Foursquare infringed their patents while providing their location-based social networking service, although it doesn’t give details as to what specifically about the patent they are infringing.

 

This lawsuit really shows the need for GPS functionality to be provided at a reasonable cost, licensed to any technology, whether it is a smartphone, GPS device, or app that relies on GPS, eradicating the need for patents and putting an end to these lawsuits altogether. One way to make this happen a little faster: force companies to come out from behind the tiny corporation no one’s ever heard of when bringing forward patent litigation.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

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NEW PATENTS AWARDED TO HEMISPHERE GPS

Canadian-based Hemisphere GPS, manufacturer of advanced GNSS products, has announced they have been awarded a variety of new patents dealing with adaptive machine control and GNSS solutions, the latest advancements in these areas.

 

The Adaptive Machine Control System and Method patent explains the intricate adaptive control methods relied upon to guide vehicles while remaining accurate and efficient. This GPS tracking system consists of a machine controller, GNSS guidance system, and software, and is used most often in precision farming operations. Pre-planned guidance patterns tell the GPS tracking system the optimal pattern adjustments for guidance and steering, and the system takes into account the actual ground conditions as specified by the user including boundary or terrain irregularities, path, and minimum turning radius. The system also provides spray nozzle control, helpful when fertilizing the fields as it helps guard against spraying the same row of crops twice. Farmers rely on this technology to save time and money, while at the same time increasing crop yields. The patent supports both current products offered by Hemisphere GPS as well as new developments within their precision farming lines, such as the Outback Guidance line of products.

 

Other patents awarded to Hemisphere GPS (a grand total of seven) include advanced GNSS solutions dealing with antenna design, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), tracking of fixed and slow-moving structures, multiple antenna control system, antenna alignment and monitoring system, augmentation of differential corrections, and vehicle guidance control.

 

Dr. Mike Whitehead, Chief Scientist for Hemisphere GPS, said “Hemisphere GPS’ commitment to innovation has generated over 75 pending and issued patents. Through these inventions and sophisticated new technology, we continuously enhance capability and performance of our positioning, guidance, and machine control solutions in the marketplace.”

 

For more information on the patents granted to Hemisphere GPS, visitwww.HemisphereGPS.com/Patents.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

NEW MULTI-SENSOR GPS SYSTEM INTRODUCED FOR GIS INDUSTRY

Altus Positioning Systems, based in Torrance, CA, has announced their newly developed GPS-based data acquisition system tailored to the GIS industry, otherwise known as geographic information system or geospatial information studies. A GIS system is designed to record, analyze, manipulate, and manage all kinds of geographical data for a wide range of industries.

 

The new system released by Altus features an ikeGPS multi-sensor data acquisition system along with a collection of built-in software tools for data-collection projects. The ikeGPS device is a GPS receiver, 3-D compass, laser rangefinder, and digital camera, all merged together in one rugged handheld device. This full integration adds up to a low-cost solution for gathering geospatial data and 3-D GIS imagery. The GPS system allows the user to locate objects simply and quickly from a single location thanks to the laser rangefinder and compass, which uses the recorder’s GPS coordinates as a reference point. The camera allows a visual reference for each object recorded in the database, as well as the option to calculate GPS location coordinates for specific objects right from these photographs.

 

Neil Vancans, CEO/president of Altus Positioning Systems, said, “The ikeGPS multi-sensor platform enables the capturing of GIS data in situations that would be otherwise impossible using traditional GIS equipment. The ikeGPS mobile GIS solutions provide unique improvements on conentional GIS data-collection efficiency. It also enables the user to capture accurate measurements of remote objects – for instance, across a busy highway, barbed-wire fence or stream – from safe distances with its point-and-shoot capability, producing verifiable, geo-referenced data collection.”

 

Vancans pointed out that these ikeGPS devices can be interfaced with Altus’ APS-3 GNSS RTK receivers, which are survey-grade, providing accuracy to the centimeter and ensuring high-precision positioning. The ikeGPS and other GPS/GNSS products were showcased in the Altus booth at the ESRI 2012 Users Conference in San Diego in late July.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

STREAMLINING COMMUNICATION WHEN IT’S MOST IMPORTANT

Have you ever misunderstood a text message? Deleted an email because you thought it wasn’t important, when it actually was? Given up on a garbled phone message? These glitches are frustrating, but in the context of an emergency situation, they can mean the difference between preventing or failing to prevent tragedy. People in groups titled Critical Incident Response Teams (CIRTs) have to avoid misunderstanding in communication as much as possible if they are to function effectively, and a new GPS enabled software allows them to do so.

 

A CIRT can be a police force, a disaster response team, or emergency workers; the term simply describes a team of individuals that address a critical situation. The members of the team, and especially the leader, need frequent updates on positions, activities, and any problems that the team encounters, and in the past this has been done through walkie-talkies, text messages, and even emails. Besides the potential for error, all of these and the other common forms of communication have the disadvantage of taking the attention of team members off the emergency at hand. Even walkie-talkies must be held in one hand, and the simple act of talking out loud can be enough to distract a responder for a critical second.

 

Mobile Innovations has developed a GPS enabled, secure team coordination software that makes updates as simple and quick as possible. In its simplest version, a team member touches the screen of his or her Blackberry phone and the other members immediately receive an update, including the team member’s location on a map. This immediate action, prompted by the smallest of motions on the part of the team member, leaves the individual free to focus on his responsibility. Because the system works across the Blackberry phone network, it doesn’t matter how spread out the team is; instantaneous messages keep all team members notified of any changes.

 

The GPS system costs a force or company very little, making it even more attractive. The high security of the Blackberry network on which it operates makes it reliable, and the simple functionality reduces confusion stemming from fast typing or talking by team members in dire situations.

Author: Mark Rummel

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

THIRD GPS IIF SATELLITE ON ITS WAY TO LAUNCH AT CAPE CANAVERAL

In case you haven’t noticed, technology is progressing pretty rapidly. Just looking at GPS technology, the number of applications for this satellite-based tech has grown exponentially in the last few years. GPS is used by civilians to explore, run errands, protect valuables, and play games with friends. It’s used by professionals responding to emergencies, researching wildlife habits, tracking employees and valuable equipment, as well as navigate air traffic. The military, who originally developed GPS technology, uses it to fly drones and improve strategy. In order to keep up with these amazing function of GPS, Boeing as been building and designing better satellites so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of the ever-changing features of GPS devices. On July 9, 2012, Boeing shipped the third of 12 GPS IIF satellites to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida from their Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, California.

 

“As each IIF satellite becomes operational, we continue the seamless transformation of the GPS constellation into an even more accurate, reliable and durable navigation resource for the U.S. military and the global civilian user community,” explained Craig Cooning, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems vice president and general manager. “Our efficient pulse-line manufacturing process, adapted from Boeing’s commercial airplane production lines, also ensures that we deliver each spacecraft on time and on cost.”

 

The first two GPS IIF satellites were launched on May 27, 2012 and July 16, 2011, and are already in orbit, working to improve and modernize the existing GPS network. Boeing is contracted to build a total of 12 GPS IIF satellites. Two are already in orbit, one is on it’s way to launch into orbit, and another three are already completed and in storage. The remaining six are currently being built and tested. The new satellites feature improved atomic clock technology, allowing more accurate navigation. They will also improve the security of GPS technology, creating jam and spoof resistant signals.

Author: Marisa O’Connor

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GARMIN ANNOUNCES NEW FENIX GPS WATCH

Garmin, a top name in the GPS industry, announced the release of their new Fenix GPS watch earlier this month, designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It is extremely rugged and made for exploring off the beaten path. Priced at $400, it won’t likely attracthikers of all levels, but will certainly appeal to the avid hiker.

 

The watch is designed kind of like Garmin‘s Forerunner GPS watches with its round LCD display and buttons placed on the edge. It doesn’t have a touchscreen like the high-end Forerunner models, but that’s likely because a touchscreen could not be adequately waterproofed or scratch-resistant. This powerhouse of a watch will reach depths of 160 feet under the water, and can handle scratches from branches you might rub against, quite common in off-the-trail hiking. Don’t worry about slipping and falling on the trail either, the Fenix can handle it (whether or not your body can is another question altogether.)

 

The Fenix brings a new feature to the interface which graphically represents the path you are hiking and pinpoints your GPS location on it. You can set this path before you leave the house by creating waypoints, or create your trail as you hike with a GPS breadcrumb trail, making you like a technological Hansel and Gretel. This allows you to explore without worrying about getting lost, or looking for visual landmarks along the way. If you see a nice spot to picnic, you can hike to it and find your way back to the trail with ease. The watch also features built-in barometer, compass, and altimeter so that you always know your bearing and direction.

 

Use Garmin’s software to track all your trips for future reference, as well as managing paths. The software also allows you to send the tracks you’ve hiked or waypoints to the Garmin GPS devices or “select smartphones” of your friends, although Garmin hasn’t said which smartphones will be compatible with this service. Now you can easily have your hiking buddies on the same page, all following the map you’ve created.

 

Pick up a Fenix for about $400 online or at your local sporting goods store. Garmin is estimating the devices will be on store shelves this fall.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GPS GAY DATING APP, GRINDR, SERVICE DISRUPTED BY GAY OLYMPIC ATHLETES?

Grindr is a very popular gay dating application, which uses GPS location technology to help users make connections with people in their area. The app works by accessing the GPS location technology built-in to most smartphones to connect local subscribers. Approximately 350 thousand London residents currently subscribe to the GPS location-based service, so more than a few eyebrows were raised when service disruptions began. Not only were the users frustrated not to be able to use the Grindr app, but some wondered about the timing of the service disruptions. The service issues began around the same time as the Olympics.

 

The app’s founder, Joel Simkhai posted a blog addressing the outages. “When we discovered that [Grindr wasn’t working], we immediately set to work fixing the screw-up. The service disruption was a challenging thing to address, but out tech team worked around the clock to solve the problems and to whip Grindr back into shape,” read the blog post. A popular UK publication, The People, reported Grindr’s outages, but also pondered the possibility of the outages being caused by gay Olympic athletes. “It happened almost as soon as the teams got here. Either loads of athletes were logging on to meet fellow Olympians or were looking to bag a local,” a London resident told The People.

 

The Huffington Post also reported on this coincidence, but also admitted to not having enough information to conclude that gay Olympic athletes were overloading the Grindr servers. A representative from Grindr responded to the Huffington Post with the following statement: “While we’d love to believe that the best-built men in the wold all dressed up in Lycra and congregating in one place can generate a huge increase in Grindr traffic, we can say with confidence that the arrival of the Olympic teams had little or no effect on our server. The truth is that there are many factors that cause a technological service disruption. We’ve been back in service for a number of days now, as referenced in Joel’s blog post.”

Author: Marisa O’Connor

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

SONY CYBER-SHOT DSC-HX20V FEATURES GPS

Sony has released the Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V, a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and Canon PowerShot SX260 HS rival due to its compact size and range of features. It is strikingly similar to Sony’s HX30V, the difference being the lack of Wi-Fi support.

 

Although it is a bit larger and heavier than the Canon Powershot SX260 HS (2.5 X 4.25 X 1.4 in, 9 oz compared to 2.4 X 4.2 X 1.3 in, 8.2 oz, respectively), it is still extremely lightweight considering it includes a 20X (25-500mm) zoom lens. If you know more than the average person when it comes to photography, this camera has you covered: manually adjust EV Compensation, ISO, Metering, and White Balance with the touch of the Custom button. The camera will also record video. The 3-inch 921k-dot resolution is crisp and clear, and when in menu mode, offers three different color schemes: black, white, and pink.

 

The GPS device built in to the camera is a handy addition, not uncommon in many models on the market. The GPS device searches for location data, which is added to each picture for future reference. This is great for long trips where a large amount of pictures are taken in a wide range of similar-looking areas, like mountains or canyons. There is no more “I wonder where this one was taken?” Now, you simply upload the photos to your computer, and see on a map exactly where you were at that point in time. Software and web services such as Lightroom, Picasa, Flickr, and Aperture support these GPS location tags.

 

The only downfall with the DSC-HX20V when compared to other cameras: it took PC Magazine testers over 3 minutes to acquire GPS satellite signal. Compare this to the Nikon Coolpix S9300, which locks on to the signal in less than a minute. In certain situations, faster is better. This must be taken into consideration when choosing the right camera for you, so if built-in, fast GPS is important to you the DSC-HX20V might not be the best option.

 

If GPS location technology isn’t important to you, the camera is one of the best compact options. It is fast and responsive, shooting in about 1.5 seconds and offering shutter lag at almost zero. Images are sharp with low noise (under 1.5 percent at ISO 800), even when increasing ISO (1.8 percent at ISO 1600.) The video camera isn’t the greatest out there for capturing HD, but still captures decent footage.

 

Check out what this little powerhouse has to offer at select retailers, and expect to pay about $360. If the price scares you, Check out the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS which is comparable in size and features.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GPS LOCATION TECHNOLOGY ABSENT FROM FUJIFILM FINEPIX F770EXR

Yet another 20x zoom compact camera has come out to play among the likes ofcameras such as the Sony Cyber-shot HX20V, Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, and Nikon Coolpix S9300, offering a host of high-end features in a tiny little package. At a mere 2.4 X 4.1 X 1.4 in and weighing 8 oz, it is offered in white, red, or black.

 

The F770EXR comes with a wide range of controls, as well as a user-customized Function button, which can be programmed to whatever function you find yourself using most often. There are special buttons for EV Compensation, flash control, macro, the self timer, and movie recording which saves you from searching the menu, which is divided into two parts. There is a smaller menu launched with the F-Mode button, allowing you to adjust ISO, Drive Mode, Image Size, and Film Simulation effects. If you need something further, the full menu is available at the touch of the Menu/OK button.

 

The F770EXR’s 3-inch LCD display isn’t the best out there at 460k-dot resolution, but it is still quite sharp. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 puts the Fujifilm’s display to shame at a 921k-dot resolution. The F770EXR will do the job in terms of image framing and review, despite it’s poor resolution. It’s the zoom factor of 20X that really makes it desirable, covering a 25-100mm range.

 

The camera starts up and shoots in roughly 2.2 seconds and features a .3 second shutter lag. This is pretty decent for a camera of its size, but the crown for best response time goes to the Sony HX30V, which starts and shoots in 1.5 seconds and has a shutter lag close to zero.

 

As for photo quality, PC Magazine found that the images were quite sharp when compared to other cameras like it. As for noise, the camera performs best at ISO 400, delivering detailed photos without a problem. ISO 800 produces images that are a bit grainier, but detail is captured without a problem. Compare this to the Nikon Coolpix S9300, which was able to keep noise to a minimum all the way to ISO 1600. Video quality is just ok, recording QuickTime videos at 1080p30 resolution. The colors are great, but the detail is lacking when compared to other cameras like it.

 

The F770EXR, unlike it’s rivals, does not offer GPS location technology to make pinpointing where each picture was taken a breeze. Basically, the camera uses the GPS device built in to the camera to locate the place the image was taken. Later on, after you’ve uploaded the images to your PC, the GPS location is tagged to each image taking the guesswork out of decided what lake is featured behind the picture of your kids, for example. This GPS functionality is offered on many models of digital cameras today, but there are some consumers out there that frankly could live without it. If this is the case for you, this camera is perfect. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

 

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

UPGRADES FOR NAVIGON APP FOR IOS

Garmin has announced their Navigon GPS app for iOS will be receiving some upgrades after Apple and Google both announced their plans to upgrade their own standard GPS apps, as well as Microsoft announcing their new Windows Phone 8OS will include free GPS navigation and onboard maps. Navigon version 2.1 adds Google Street View and Cockpit, which displays driving data, available as an in-app purchase. The Navigon GPS app will still offer a routing algorithm and onboard maps.

 

Garmin has also made a few improvements, such as the amount of time the app takes to start as well as map-rendering speed. Zooming and panning are much quicker, and graphics look sharper when viewed on the iPad’s amazing Retina display. If there are specific roads you wish to avoid, use the manual road blocking feature, where you can let the app know which roads you’d rather not travel on.

 

Use Google Street View to see a street-level image of your destination before you even head out on the road, which is helpful for finding a building you are unfamiliar with. Anyone who’s used a GPS app knows it isn’t exactly precise when it comes to locating a specific address, sometimes driving past your destination without even realizing it, or seeing your destination down the block while your GPS device or app is telling you to “Turn left!” While going along the route the app has calculated for you, the Street View image of the building appears again when you are almost there.

 

The Cockpit function, brand new to the Navigon app, brings real-time driving data to the screen in a cockpit-style display: gForce, speed, adjustable speed and altitude graph, and horizontal and vertical position. There is also an off-road screen, which displays altitude and a compass for your off-roading adventures. This feature is available for $5.99 as an in app purchase.

 

Garmin decided to withhold comment on the upcoming upgraded maps to be offered by Apple and Google. “There is just not enough information available at this point to provide a qualified evaluation of the new navigation feature for iOS 6,” said a Garmin spokesman. He said the Garmin apps are able to successfully compete with the free apps included with the phones because “we’re able to provide navigation products that offer a wide range of unique features to provide highly accurate and reliable road guidance. We provide a wide range of other premium features [compared to current navigation apps], such as comprehensive lane guidance with actual road signs, spoken directions that include street names, top-notch routing technology based on our 20 years of experience, speed warnings, parking information, safety camera warnings, among many others.”

 

Current Navigon GPS app users will receive the upgrades for free.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.