Monday, June 1, 2009

Skyhook Locator System in NY Times today

A concise and informative article on Skyhook and its Locator System appears in the Business Section of Today’s NY Times. Whereas the Times does not make its site available to non subscribers, you can find some of the same information on my earlier blog post on Skyhook’s CEO, Ted Morgan.

I do find certain confusion in the industry about location sensing, its capabilities and how it works. On the iPhone, location sensing takes place as follows.

When the owner selects an application involving location, such as Tides, Latitude, Yelp, Loopt, Car finder, or Taxi Magic, the iPhone calculates whether it is likely to get the best and fastest information from its own GPS chip or from Skyhook’s system.

GPS searches for Satellites. Skyhook checks a list of nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers against its database and triangulates the device’s location within 30 to 60 feet. Skyhook claims its system, XPS, is superior whenever GPS signals are blocked by walls or trees, and that XPS responds much more quickly than GPS. The Skyhook data base now includes more than 100 million wireless networks and 700,000 cellular towers.

Skyhook’s XPS is now installed on 37 million Apple iPhones and iPod Touches worldwide, as well as a variety of other devices. The company says it handles 250 million location requests a day. Good show, Skyhook!

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