Latest in Science

Image credit:

DARPA is working on something way better than GPS

5 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

When your location marker on Google Maps is pinging all over the place, it's usually due to temperamental GPS signal. DARPA thinks this isn't cutting it anymore, and is developing a "radically" new tech that will offer real-time position tracking -- something that'll work despite blind spots or jamming efforts. DARPA expects this will offer a huge boon to the US Military over, well, everyone else. Beyond war, the new location tech will be good for some much more, and will be far more flexible than GPS. Just like how we now use that once-military network for navigation and location services, new tech is very likely drip down to muggles like us too.

As DARPA puts it in its paper: "The need to be able to operate effectively in areas where GPS is inaccessible, unreliable or potentially denied by adversaries has created a demand for alternative precision timing and navigation capabilities." It's also working on self-calibrating gyroscopes and accelerometers and clocks that that will be able to track your position without relying on a wireless signal or other external sources: if your smart watch of the future knows where you start, and you move 350 meters north-west, for example, it'll know where you are without having to double-check with the internet, or a satellite.

Perhaps even cooler, researchers are crafting sensors that pick up "signals of opportunity" such as television, radio and apparently even lightning, to assist in location tracking. It's called ASPN (All Source Positioning and Navigation) and will particularly help in dense jungles (concrete or tropical) where GPS signals can often be obfuscated. This would also reduce power consumption for navi devices -- apparently one of DARPA's broad aims for the technology.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
5 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The Morning After: Sony has three new smartphones

The Morning After: Sony has three new smartphones

View
TSA bans employees from making TikTok videos

TSA bans employees from making TikTok videos

View
Realme's X50 Pro is a cheaper 5G flagship with super-fast charging

Realme's X50 Pro is a cheaper 5G flagship with super-fast charging

View
Disney+ discounts yearly subscriptions ahead of its European launch

Disney+ discounts yearly subscriptions ahead of its European launch

View
Sony's mid-range Xperia 10 II packs an OLED display and triple cameras

Sony's mid-range Xperia 10 II packs an OLED display and triple cameras

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr