Microsoft researchers have developed Cultivating the Long tail in Environmental Observations (CLEO), a cloud-based global positioning system that collects only a few milliseconds of the most important information from satellites, thereby dramatically reducing the power consumption of smartphones. Microsoft's GPS system collects data that is then combined with other information from online public databases, such as satellite trajectories and Earth elevation values, to calculate the device's past locations. However, the data fusion and location calculations happen on a remote server, which reduces the smartphone's power consumption.
CLEO can perform continuous GPS sensing for a year and a half efficiently enough to be sustained by just two AA batteries, the researchers say. CLEO was originally designed for an animal-tracking system that can acquire movement data over time. However, the approach also can be integrated into an Internet-capable device, saving power and time when GPS is in use, says Microsoft's Jie Liu.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, and the University of Southern California also are developing signal processing and other engineering strategies to make GPS-based location services faster and more energy efficient.
From Technology Review
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