Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Satnav and 3G cellular services on one mobile phone

08.11.2006
An EU project team is working to combine satellite positioning with 3G mobile phone technology on a single chip. The result could unlock the future for applications like smart tourism services, smart transport management and even electronic guide dogs for the blind.

Satellite navigation or 'satnav' systems are enjoying growing popularity, especially in the transport sector where unit prices have dropped rapidly. The global market is already estimated to be worth some eight billion euro.

Now the partners in the GAWAIN project hope to prompt further growth by combining satnav and 3G (third generation) telephony facilities within one device. They hope to combine the world's two most important global positioning systems, Europe's Galileo and the American GPS, within a 3G mobile telephone on a single chip.

"An integrated chip like this reduces the components a manufacturer needs to use, and reduces power consumption. It will make it very attractive for handset manufacturers to include navigation as standard with their mobile phones," notes Günter Heinrichs, coordinator of the GAWAIN project. "Combining these two systems will also double the availability of navigation, and should help combat problems like urban canyons where one satellite system might not reach."

It is an impressive achievement. This is the first time a UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Services) receiver has been combined with Galileo/GPS.

During the commercialisation phase in the coming years, the fundamental design principles will be turned into integrated chips ready for mass production. The process may even render the chips more efficient.

"For example, it may be possible to use the UMTS receiver on the chip to receive satnav information as well," remarks Heinrichs.

The advent of such an integrated chip could finally unlock the future potential for location-based services or LBS. Once the functionality is installed within a large number of devices, it could facilitate the growth of such services for the mass market, simply because the additional cost of entry for users will not be high and providers will have a ready market based on devices that are easily upgradeable.

It is these LBS services that are the selling points of a combined chip, and GAWAIN explored some intriguing options to this end. For example, in smart transport the devices could be used to tell commuters when the next bus will arrive at a particular stop. Such a service could make using the bus much more competitive with train travel, helping to popularise bus transport.

Smart tourism services could also supply information that is relevant to the user's present location. If travellers find themselves arriving unexpectedly at a particular destination, all the relevant information about hotels, transport, restaurants and places of interest could be made instantly available.

"Cellular networks could provide city guides for their subscribers, or could sell the information to tourists who arrive in the city, for example," Heinrichs says. There is even the potential to develop an electronic guide dog for the blind, offering spoken instructions to keep the user safe.

The real advantage of services like these, however, is the many as-yet-unimagined services that they could make possible. When the concept of the internet was first dreamt of, it was seen as simply a way for the military to maintain communications in the event of a nuclear war.

After it became a publicly-available platform however, and particularly after Tim Berners-Lee of CERN invented the universal web browser, the internet took off. In a few short years the web has become ubiquitous, and has enabled societies across the world to re-engineer how they fulfil basic and advanced needs, from publishing to shopping and dating. Location-based services could offer a similar, huge future potential

The project continues until March 2007, but has already achieved 90 per cent of its goals. Currently, the GAWAIN partners are testing the system in the laboratory, but from November 2006 will be running tests in real scenarios. After March 2007, the project team will enter the commercialization phase and start contacting new potential partners who want to either invest in the technology or help develop new services.

| alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>