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Smart Boots With GPS Accuracy

University of Utah

Researchers at the University of Utah may have come up with a solution, that could potentially help save people’s lives. What they have created is an alternate positioning system, accurate within the same distance as GPS, that can be incorporated into a boot or other piece of footwear, but doesn’t rely on satellites to work.

A suite of sensors and circuits mounted to a boot can determine position with an accuracy of about 5 meters, indoors or out, without GPS.

The navigation system, installed in a very hefty prototype boot, could help rescue workers navigate inside buildings, and show firefighters where their team members are. It might also be integrated with virtual or augmented reality games. The Utah researchers presented their GPS-free navigation system on Tuesday at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.




Other Games Besides Pokemon Go



Geocaching is an outdoor game app in which people use an app or a GPS device to discover hidden containers around the world. Yes, real containers, and some of them even contain small trinkets for trade.It’s like a  real-life treasure hunt


SpecTrek is an augmented reality ghost-hunting game in which users must walk or run to various locations to find virtual ghosts and “catch” them on their phone’s camera.


BallStrike, users have to punch or kick a series of balls that appear all around them in their phones’ or tablets’ rear-facing cameras. The idea is for the user to twist and turn to hit each ball, making the ball explode.

Zombies, Run!’

Zombies, Run! is an immersive running game app in which gamers are tasked with surviving a zombie apocalypse. As gamers jog in real life, they can listen to scary story lines and sound effects of zombies chasing them. In fact, gamers have to speed up whenever a zombie is on their heels. The farther you run, the more supplies you collect to survive.

The Walk’

In The Walk, which was developed by the same team that created Zombies, Run!, the gamer must carry a package that could save the world to a mysterious destination.

As the player walks during the day, they get closer and get closer to the destination, while also unlocking immersive audio story clips along the way. The game takes three months to complete, which might be long enough to develop a new fitness habit.

Superhero Workout’

Superhero Workout was developed by the same creators of Zombies, Run! and The Walk. In the game, the user becomes the pilot of a battlesuit tasked with defending the world against alien forces. The game requires the user to complete real-world exercises, from abdominal crunches to arm punches, to defeat the aliens. The app uses motion detection to track progress.


Indoor Navigation Technology Trends


12IndoorNav f2

Wifarer, based in Victoria, B.C., Canada, produces smartphone apps for indoor positioning based on Wi-Fi signals. One of the company’s custom apps guides visitors around the Royal BC Museum (also in Victoria), assisting them in finding their way around and understanding the exhibits.

The Rescue Wand


Firefighters may have to wait a couple of years to get their hands on true indoor location technology. In the meantime, David Cyganski at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has engineered an alternative rescue tool named Mantenna that is much closer to commercialization.

To use it, firefighters would wear radio transmitters that they can activate in a crisis or that will turn on automatically if they stop moving for 30 seconds. The system ensures that transmissions reach rescuers inside or outside a building by using carrier waves between 170 and 200 kilohertz. These very low frequencies penetrate metal and concrete much more easily than do the high-frequency signals that indoor tracking systems use.

While searching for a fallen colleague, rescuers would carry a wandlike, meter-long receiver tipped at each end with a magnetic loop antenna. Up to about 20 meters from the transmitter, the wand falls within its “near field.” The boundaries of a typical building—the strengths of the magnetic fields fall off much more quickly than radio waves at greater distances. in this zone. The wand is allowed to  detect the difference in signal amplitude between the two antennas without requiring a preposterously long pole to separate them. Knowing this distance, it can determine when it’s pointing toward the transmitter and calculate roughly how far away it is. It would convey this information to the rescuers with changing tones, flashing lights, and accelerating beeps.

WPI engineers aim to sell a Mantenna transmitter and wand for less than US $1000. They expect to have a prototype within six months.


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Overlying On The GPS


The global positioning system, aka  GPS. August 2009, the Sacramento Bee reported, a woman was found alive on in Death Valley,  on a remote back road.her six-year-old son sitting dead in the car beside her. She had followed her car’s GPS navigational system down a road. The GPS program had determined it was the shortest route between two points of travel. It was indeed, though the road was barely a track and was unsuited for most vehicles. Some GPS databases, point to roads that have not been open for more than 40 years, while others cannot distinguish between a trail and a superhighway. Several  winters ago, a woman was stranded for three days on a logging road in New Brunswick when her car’s navigational device pointed her down that impassable way. “Experts say New Brunswick poses a particular problem for the GPS because the province has so many dirt roads.”  The errors lies not with GPS technology itself, though that technology is indeed vulnerable to unforeseeable phenomena such as surges in sunspot activity, as well as interference from landforms, electronic signals, building materials, and the like. Instead, the problem generally lies with the various interpretations that overlie that technology in the form of those map databases, graphic interfaces, and so forth. There is also the fact that altogether too many users of the technology are overly reliant on it: too many cannot read a map to save their lives (as reading a map so often does), too many sally forth into difficult terrain assuming that technology alone will somehow keep them safe—and that somehow technology owes them this safety.

Manufacturers of navigational devices note that all databases contain errors, and therefore insist that their products are to be used as “navigational aids” only

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