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 'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone
14.08.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic
14.08.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>