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Skyhook Wireless brings location services to wearables in a petite package

by • March 14, 2016 • No Comments

Skyhook Wireless has been working on location innovation for longer than many of the largest names in smartphones have been around. Currently it launched a new SDK aimed at delivering location to wearables in an incredibly small code footprint.

The challenge with wearables when it comes to location is that there is not a lot of real estate within them and thus they tend to have underpowered chip innovation and smaller batteries — too small to deal with location. That has intended that up until now, many wearable companies have had to rely on a additional powerful surrogate for that power, typically linking the device to a smartphone for location purposes.

Skyhook’s Precision Location for Wearables SDK released now a days is created to bring those location services directly to the wearable without the require for a location middle man. It is reduced the dimensions of the code dramatically to the point that it can be created directly into a wearable’s firmware and placed on the small chip within the gadget, David Bairstow, VP of product at Skyhook told TechCrunch.

The software transmits the location information back to Skyhook’s servers and you can track it through an app or web page.

In terms of how this can play out, ponder of a fitness tracker you use that generally relies on the smartphone to track where you ran. With this innovation, it should be capable of tracking your location itself. You can log on to your account and get that information directly of the device now.

One other use case is a small camera of a company called Narrative, that is a partner of Skhyook’s. The camera, that is small adequate to wear on your lapel, can capture the location as you move of the world and take pictures in various places.

All of this tracking raises privacy issues of course, but Bairstow says many of his company’s location innovation is completely opt-in and configurable on the device, depending on the device of course. One of the use cases is a tracker for children and the thought is to provide safe geographical areas. When the child steps outside of a safe area, the parent may be informed. In that case, you most likely mayn’t want to shut off location, but in many cases the user may want control of that.

The pricing for the new service is based on an expected volume of location requests, according to Bairstow.

Skyhook Wireless was founded way back in 2003, so it was a visionary in its own way. It raised a modest $16.8 million preceding it was sold to TruePosition, a subsidiary of Liberty Media in 2014. The company has the distinction of being the location software on the initially iPhone.

After that, both Google and Apple went their own way on location. In fact, the company sued Google several times over patent infringement and unfair competition. The move to wearables is a way to store the company relevant in a changing market regulated by giants.

Featured Image: JIPEN/Shutterstock

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