Exciting trends in GPS are in the making. Evolving from the growing convergence of GPS technology and consumer products, there are strong indications that GPS is everywhere - or soon will be.
Getting From Here To There
Once the private preserve of luxury car owners, GPS-based navigation gadgets are now showing the rest of us how to get from here to there.
Turn-by-turn directions are coming from a medley of personal navigation devices ranging from vehicle dashboard-mounted GPS receivers, cell phones, wrist watches, cameras and more.
But even before navigation applications kick into high gear, it is becoming increasingly clear that GPS is not just for directions anymore.
If GPS can find places, surely it can find people and things too. Once a novel idea, using GPS as a people finder is powering up several useful tracking applications while raising some issues and concerns about privacy and abuse.
It's six o'clock, do you know where your child is? There's an app for that, right on your GPS mobile phone.
If grandma with Alzheimer's wandered off and can't find her way home, pinpointing her location using GPS technology is no longer science fiction; the GPS tracking module embedded in her smart shoes knows where she is.
What's Near Me?
So GPS showed you how to get to the new mall and you did not even have to fumble through any paper maps. And GPS helped you find your car when you could not remember where you parked it at the new mall. Now what else can GPS do for you? How about location-based services, one of the hottest trends in GPS.
Your GPS app knows where you are. It knows what you are likely to be interested in, based on what you told your GPS about your interests and where you've been in the past.
Now your location-aware GPS app can tell you what's nearby that might interest you. No sense driving halfway across town in that gas guzzler when your favorite restaurant is right around the corner.
To be sure, consumer GPS is in its infancy. But as GPS gadgets get smaller, consume less power, provide faster searches and better detect weak signals blocked by structures, accurate real-time GPS performance should produce an even richer consumer experience.