The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has created a navigation system specifically for pedestrians. The system, which is not GPS-based, works with a set of existing WLANs. And what's the device? WLAN-enabled cell phones (such as the iPhone, so this is an alternative for its Google Maps triangulation system) or PDAs.

The Institute said that WLAN technology is more precise than GPS and can access spots such as subway stations, galleries and narrow streets; and it should be installed in cities with existing a high number of hotspots (such as Nürnberg has, more than 2000). This allows the system's precision being 3 meters, instead of 10 meters for GPS.

The navigation system uses the signal that WLANs broadcast in different spots around the city as well as their location and stores it in a central computer. Then the navigational system finds the position by detecting these public and private wireless networks. Since it requires no user identification, it can't trace back the location of a certain user.

[Source: EFE via Madri+d]

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