Leaving the GPS function on your smartphone enabled can rip apart through battery life pretty quickly, but with their Facebook check-in, Foursquare check-in and various other GPS-powered apps, what else can we do?
Well, Microsoft researchers have worked out a way to get phones' GPS chips to use significantly less power just by outsourcing some of their functions to the cloud. Researchers with the software giant have worked out a way to use the GPS chips to collect just the most important data from the satellites, while relying on "public, online databases" to collect other key data, "such as satellite trajectories and Earth elevation values, to calculate the device's past locations".
This sounds like an incredibly efficient way of doing things, with Microsoft Research principal researcher Jie Lui telling Technology Review that low-powered GPS chips could lead to more "continuous location-sensing applications" that could give consumers more detailed and accurate information than many of today's GPS-capable apps.
I for one, welcome our new GPS cloud overlords.
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