Out of the many technological developments that are becoming a part of our lives in this amazing time that we are witnesses to, some have a systemic effect, while others have a more local effect. Tracking technologies belong to the former category, and affect practically all other aspects of our devices’ functioning.
Location-based services are required by the widest range of apps and services – from weather, news and dating apps to phone location, IoT, and iTunes. Where else can they possibly be used? What other functions can they possibly fulfill?
Technological progress is not merely a linear advancement along the same lines, it entails the emergence and implementation of game-changing ideas, so there’s always a novel concept to be based on the already existing technologies. Let’s consider the new ways in which location tracking services are becoming yet more useful.
The three leaders
- First of all, GPS-based technologies, which is well familiar to everyone and are used extensively already, will become even more pertinent for the following reasons: targeted advertising is growing more and more precise, mobile gaming that tracks a player’s movements is also advancing with the development of AR/VR technologies, and its popularity is very likely to skyrocket. GPS is also a very promising trend in livestock welfare tracking, a notion that combines GPS with biometric sensors, a health and fitness tracker to be placed on grazing free-range livestock.
- The second technology currently under development is IPS, or indoor positioning system. It’s well-known that GPS loses most of its tracking power indoors due to its technical nature and loss of connection with the satellites. Most current IPS are able to determine an object’s indoor position, but still need major fine-tuning in order to be able to track an object in motion. They use different technologies, such as magnetic positioning, acoustic and radio technologies, dead reckoning and are able to measure the distance to a nearby node with a fixed position. In the future, when IPS is improved, it can be integrated with GPS to create a seamless tracking system.
- The third development that we’d like to talk about is of an entirely different scale – it is a major, groundbreaking turn. Cloud computing is taking the next step and transforming into fog computing, which will create even more connections and links within the IoT (internet of things). Fog computing aims to connect the cloud to edge not devices. It does not sound like it’s a tracking-related notion at first, but IoT certainly requires location information in order to create a more comprehensive infrastructure. Of course, this is most lucrative to advertisers and entrepreneurs, but that’s the world we live in, and the benefits of previously unheard-of convenience have a price tag – less privacy being the major one. Fog computing can also potentially benefit the entire community, whether in an urban environment, where smart traffic lights would be able to allow emergency vehicles through without any delays, or anywhere, with energy distribution applications ensuring a consistent allocation of power to all consumers.
- Fog computing is currently at the inception stage, and most deployments that use this technology often face a number of challenges, including network bandwidth, security and latency. The notion came about in 2014, when CISCO introduced its vision of the future. It stated that fog computing is the more efficient way to process information than consuming cloud services by generating increasingly vast amounts of data. Rather, it allows to localize control and provide faster communication between devices, and does not require access to the cloud for such communication.
We have merely touched upon the three major bases of tracking technology of today, but as time goes on, there are bound to be many surprises and inventions that will change our lives in an even deeper manner.