Tag Archive for 'GPS'

IPS picks up where GPS leaves off

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Lost in the woods? If you have a GPS device with you, you can easily recover your path. But if you’re indoors, you’re out of luck. GPS signals cannot penetrate solid obstacles, making them useless inside most buildings. Here’s where local wireless networks may come to the rescue. An IPS, or indoor positioning system, uses ultrasound, infrared, or radio waves to obtain the position of an IPS device. This means you could strap on an IPS wristband, and your movements could be tracked, even inside buildings!

Cause for privacy concern? Certainly. If you were forced to wear a wristband, anyone with access to the network could track your movements. But just as GPS systems have helped to rescue stranded hikers in the wilderness, IPS systems could help firefighters navigate a burning building to find trapped victims. Hospitals are already using a similar ultrasound-based technology to help patients recognize the myriads of doctors, nurses, and other workers who attend to their needs.