Bluetooth chip boost for LBS

Rating: Adds GPS to handsetsĀ for just $1

I’ve just come across an unexpected boost for location based services. I was chatting away to John Halksworth from chip maker, CSR. He revealed that the company’s latest Bluetooth chip virtually throws in support for GPS virtually free.

Actually it would put about another $1 on the cost of handset if you decide to use CSR’s Bluetooth chip in the first place. What that means to me is that GPS would move out of the smartphone sector into mid-tier handsets or even some entry level phones.

Which, of course, would provide a tremendous boost for those building and those offering location based services.

Halksworth was also adamant that the kind of GPS which CSR is going to offer is much better than the standard fare. Currently the ‘improved’ version of GPS is Assisted GPS (A-GPS).

I’ve just upgraded the operating software for my Nokia N95 to A-GPS and it still takes absolutely ages for the handset to get a satellite fix and I’m sitting in the middle of the garden.

CSR argues that its own version, Enhanced GPS (E-GPS) is much better since it takes cell site triangulation and a GPRS/3G data link into account. So in theory it can memorise your location and enable LBS to work inside buildings.

Which is fine except that I recently discovered that 3 in the UK doesn’t necessarily pass location information to third parties.

I really must find out why that is.

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