The Australian launch of high accuracy location based services became one step closer with the news that local LBS solution provider Seeker Wireless has achieved sub 100m location accuracy in the Sydney CBD using standard GSM handsets.
Seeker Wireless have been developing high-accuracy, low-cost location based services that utilise existing handsets, and GSM networks.
General Manager of Seeker Wireless, Andrew Grill sees the solution being complementary to planned or existing location based service offerings.
“We’ve spent a great deal of time analysing the requirements for LBS systems both here and in Europe, USA, UK and South Africa. The major issue for corporates is higher accuracy, and that’s where the Seeker solution comes into it’s own”, said Andrew.
“Our solution uses existing handsets without the need for additional equipment such as GPS receivers. Using our proprietary technology, we can accurately pinpoint a mobile phone in the Sydney CBD to under 100m, and in suburban areas, to within a few hundred metres”, said Grill.
The story is even better for the carriers, who do not need to implement technology in their own network in order to take advantage of Seeker’s higher accuracy. “The benefits of our system is that the wireless operator does not need to install hardware or software in their network, as our technology takes care of the location fix from a handset, right through to supplying the location on a map. Where required however, we can integrate our location feed into existing LBS systems to supplement the location accuracy from network based systems such as Cell-ID”, said Grill.
“The main opportunity for corporate location services are in the transport, logistics, health, insurance and Government sectors, and we’re in active dialogue with a number of companies in these industries. It’s fair to say that there is a strong level of interest from the carriers in providing higher accuracy location systems utilising existing handsets, as a value-added LBS product offering”, said Grill.
“Key to our solution is the fact that it operates across any network, and only requires a GPRS or SMS connection. We can implement the solution on a handset using a small software download (as easily a downloading a ringtone), or by using a SIM toolkit solution”, said Grill.
One of the perceived barriers for the adoption of location based services in Australia has been the privacy concerns, but Seeker Wireless is a strong supporter of an industry-wide code of conduct regarding LBS. “In the UK, the 5 carriers have all agreed on an LBS code of conduct, and we’re hopeful that the local operators will adopt the main aspects of the code such as opt-in and consent from users. We see the right’s of the end user – the mobile subscriber as paramount”, said Grill.
Seeker wireless are looking to start operations in Sydney in the coming months.