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May 14, 2008

A new era of location, location, location

HELSINKI, Finland – Having recently stated, “We expect to ship about 35 million GPS-enabled Nokia devices in 2008, which is equal to the entire GPS device market in 2007,” Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, paints a picture of GPS as standard. But the significance of this goes way beyond just personal navigation. Having GPS so interwoven into our mobile lives, paired with the rapid increase of faster data connections, encourages a brave new world of location-based interaction, enabling us to effortlessly mine our surroundings for information consciously and unconsciously.

Far from an abstract concept, the reality of this is extremely simple and already emerging with the increased popularity of simple tasks such as geo-tagging your photos with location info, understanding what facilities are available in your vicinity as you walk around a city with Nokia Maps and suchlike. However, the extension of these services and the introduction of new GPS-focussed developments are inevitable and exciting.

We’ve previously touched on work the Nokia Research Center is doing on the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality, both concepts that fuse GPS, camera and data connection features to enable you to suck information from your surroundings. Similarly, improved services such as live traffic info via GPS phones automatically relaying information to update everyone on the status of the roads around them is being explored. And this is just scratching the surface.

How significant do you think GPS and the emergence of proper location-based services really is? Do you reckon it will change the way we behave with our phones and our surrounding environments?

Photo from Hamed Saber