Mobile phones are being packed with technology, but not all of it has become popular. The expected take up of mobile TV and video has been very slow. Could GPS enabled mobile phones be the next popular must have gadget?
Use of the Mobile Phone in the Outdoors
Back in the old days before mobile phones were available, when you went out hiking for the day you left details of where you were going with family or friends. Sometimes you didn't even bother to do that. When you got yourself into a spot of bother, you had to either try and make your way to help, or send some of your party off in search of rescue.
Nowadays, the mobile phone has become a standard piece of survival kit. Although you are not guaranteed to get a signal in the wild country you are exploring, it increases your chances of rapid rescue. Now all you have to do is be able to tell the mountain rescue team where you are.
“Er, I'm on this big hill in Wales. No I can't pronounce the name of it. It's a bit foggy up here so I can't see any landmarks.”
The mountain rescue teams are overworked enough as it is, and the addition of a GPS enabled mobile phone to the walkers kit would be of huge benefit. By being able to call mountain rescue with your exact location dramatically reduces the time taken to find you. You will of course have to understand how to use it and how to relate your coodinates. If someone said their location was 216675E 771285N or N56:47:49 W5:00:13 would you know what that meant?
With the drop in price of handheld GPS units, more and more walkers are using them. The integration of the GPS with the mobile phone means one less gadget to carry with you.
Currently there are 27 US GPS satellites orbiting the earth, providing the capability for a handheld GPS unit to calculate its location. Due to signal reception and how many satellites are visible above the horizon, the time taken for the GPS to get its first fix (calculate where it is) varies. The addition of the Galileo and Glonass satellites to the existing GPS satellite constellation will significantly reduce the time taken to get a fix. This will improve the user's experience and make them more likely to use a GPS. The addition of more satellites will also improve the accuracy of the given location.
Sat Nav systems for cars have become extremely popular. Everywhere you drive, you will see that telltale square of light on the dashboard, often with the driver fiddling with it. Personal GPS is the next big thing, and this will be supported by GPS enabled mobile phones. Imagine being provided with information that relates to your location. Google Maps on a mobile phone! Not only will you know where you are, you will be able to find out where the nearest pub is, or perhaps the nearest outdoors activity centre. You could go on holiday and find out what is around you by using your GPS mobile phone. Your mobile phone could then direct you to your chosen destination.
Mobile Social Networking
Talk about making it easier to meet up with mates. Perhaps mobile phone manufacturers will integrate your address book as well so that you could then know which of your mates where near you. This would of course be dependent on them having a GPS enabled mobile phone as well. It could be a bit embarrassing if you could see that your boyfriend is at your best friends house though. This is truly mobile social networking!
Here is a brief list of GPS enabled mobile phones:
Nokia 6110 Navigator
Sony Ericsson P910
Sony Ericsson P910i
E-TEN Glofiish M700
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