Centimeter-level location determination for portable electronics

Broadcom has unveiled a new chip (the BCM4752) that can receive data from all four satellite navigation systems in orbit (GPS, GLONASS, SBAS, QZSS) to provide faster, more accurate results.  Not only that, but it can also reference other radio signals, like wi-fi and Bluetooth, for example.  Combine that with additional inputs from accelerometers, compasses, gyroscopes, and altimeters, and the result is an unprecedented ability to locate one’s exact position with potentially centimeter-level accuracy, even indoors.

Some people freak out about this ‘big brother’ like capability, but the reality is that this is providing incredible information to the user.  It’s how that information ends up being used that may or may not be Orwellian;  I see so much potential is this level of detail that I remain optimistic that developers can find a way to provide this service to users in a way that protects privacy.

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