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Random Thought - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

May. 18th, 2009 04:42 pm Random Thought

You know, there are a bunch of neat things that could be made if GPS receivers were cheaper, and could see enough of the constellation everywhere.

Two I've thought of: a watch that not only sets itself, but knows what time zone it is in, and self-calibrating pedometers.

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Date:May 19th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I have a self-calibrating GPS pedometer. I think it's a Garmin Forerunner.
Date:May 19th, 2009 07:43 am (UTC)
I have the same as Bill.

But another thought - how expensive would it be to put a stripped-down cellphone chipset into a device to get timezone and basic location info?

Especially a chipset that gathered information from all service providers, rather than just a specific one? Lots more data from which to interpolate, thus hopefully improving accuracy as well as coverage.

It would need enough memory to store all celltower locations and power outputs - and occasional updates via the web.

You can file the patent, just give me 50%
Date:May 19th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
You can file the patent, just give me 50%
Unfortunately, should I even seriously think about such a patent, my employer who makes chipsets for cell phones would want in on the action.

On the other hand, I may have to inquire how one handles a patentable idea that they come up with in conjunction with a friend who doesn't work for the company.
Date:May 19th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
As an interesting not-exactly-unrelated note - my brother-in-law did his thesis on 'why we should put all the mothballed GPS satellites in orbit now'. You touched on one of the reasons - more satellites makes it easier to do many things that we do now. Another reason is that their lifetime is a lot longer than initially planned, so there are a couple of decades (or more) worth of mothballed satellites, and this is producing a strong disincentive to add any new services to the constellation, because it would mean trashing all those satellites.