Researchers use GPS, accelerometers to boost smartphone data rates

Well, this might be a good reason for The Powers That Be to know your exact whereabouts. According to a team of MIT researchers, speeding up data rates on mobile devices could be as easy as tapping the various motion sensors found in run-of-the-mill smartphones. The scientists believe our wireless infrastructure is at the root of bottlenecks, with a handful of weak transmitters clumsily "handing off" data to one another as you move out of range. The solution: use GPS radios, accelerometers, and even gyroscopes to infer where you're headed, and then choose an access point near where you're likely to end up. The difference, they report, is dramatic: a 50 percent boost in throughput, along with improved success in choosing the best bit rate. To boot, if a base station is armed with location-based info, it can better predict when the devices connected to it are on the verge of losing contact. That's all good news, but sadly we doubt any amount of promising science is enough to make the pink lady go away.