SnapTrack Awarded Additional Key Patents for Enhanced GPS
Cell phone/GPS Integration Patents Solidify Company’s Lead in Wireless Location Technology Market
SnapTrack announced today the award of two major patents covering key aspects of its Enhanced Global Positioning System technology that enable the company to provide new layers of sophistication for its wireless location products. SnapTrack has pioneered a powerful client/server Enhanced GPS technology known as Wireless Assisted GPS™ that uses the U.S. Government’s Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to locate wireless phones and other wireless devices with high precision for emergency purposes and for commercial location-based services.
The new patents cover inventions that will enhance the coverage and integrity of SnapTrack-enabled devices, allowing accurate position determination in a wider range of difficult calling environments, and permit manufacturers to simplify device design by tightly integrating GPS and cell phone functions within the phone’s microprocessor.
“Already the world’s most accurate wireless location system, these new
patent awards demonstrate SnapTrack’s commitment to pushing the envelope and
continuing to provide our partners and licensees with leading-edge wireless
location capability,” said Steve Poizner, president and CEO of SnapTrack.
“Our system will not only help carriers meet the stringent demands of the
FCC’s E9-1-1 mandate, but enable the design of cell phones, pagers, and PDAs
that can provide users with a host of new mobile location services and
e-commerce applications -- like personal direction finding and mobile yellow
pages. For example, with a location-enabled phone or PDA you could not only
search for and find the nearest restaurant of choice, but book a reservation and
get directions at the same time.”
The new hybrid Wireless Assisted GPS patent issued to SnapTrack, #5,999,124, covers inventions for the combination of GPS and wireless network time measurements when performing position location calculations. Augmenting GPS signals with information from a wireless network, such as cellular ranging and timing signals, enhances SnapTrack’s system availability and integrity in very challenging call environments. The patent covers position determination calculations at both the client (handset) and the server .
In addition to the new hybrid Wireless Assisted GPS patent, SnapTrack has also been issued patent #6,002,363, concerning the ability to tightly integrate both GPS signal and cellular signal processing tasks within a common microprocessing unit aboard a wireless device. By sharing the same microprocessor for both tasks, wireless devices may be developed that need not rely upon redundant electronics, simplifying the device and leading to potential cost-savings.
SnapTrack now holds 14 patents, with nearly three dozen additional patents pending, that are critical to the efficient, cost-effective deployment of Wireless Assisted GPS. SnapTrack’s system has been commercially adopted by NTT DoCoMo (the world’s largest wireless operator), and will shortly be on the market in Japan. SnapTrack recently completed end-to-end wireless location services applications trials in Madrid with major GSM carriers, and also concluded more than 18 months of testing on commercial CDMA networks. The company expects SnapTrack-enabled handsets and two-way pagers to appear on store shelves next year.
About SnapTrack’s Technology
SnapTrack's thin-client Wireless Assisted GPS system improves upon conventional GPS by combining information from GPS satellites and a wireless network to pinpoint a wireless phone. It may be incorporated into a range of cellular phones, pagers, PDAs, and other wireless devices. While traditional GPS receivers may take several minutes to provide a location fix, SnapTrack's system generally locates callers within a few seconds. Callers are typically located to within 5-20 meters in a wide range of challenging call environments where normal GPS will not work, including inside houses and moving vehicles, under heavy foliage, and in downtown street canyons.
SnapTrack’s technology products permit the design of wireless devices that operate in multiple GPS navigation modes, allowing out-of-network location coverage and a variety of thin-client applications. SnapTrack’s Multimode Location System™ product combines several GPS modes into a single package; SmartServer™, Semi-Autonomous SmartServer, and conventional GPS; and uses a dynamic smart-location feature that enables a device to choose the appropriate location mode for a user at any given time. SnapTrack's wireless location technology products require no additional cell sites or modification to existing network equipment and are designed to have minimal impact on cost and handset form factor. Furthermore, SnapTrack’s technology is air-interface neutral and is applicable in any two-way wireless system: cellular/PCS, satellite, or paging; 800/900 MHz or 1800/1900 MHz; CDMA, TDMA, GSM, PDC or iDEN.
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