Inspiration

Smartphones use geo-location to perform smart tasks intelligently. However, the procedure to obtain this geo-location is obsolete because it is based on ‘stone-age’ technology present in early 1970s when there was no wifi, ble, nfc, zigbee or modern mems sensor technologies, often called micro-machines. In 1970s, computing power was also expensive and bulky and could not have handled any serious algorithms like “Deep learning neural networks” based Artificial Intelligence, even if some mathematician had worked out, in those 70s, a theoretical system to perform neural computing. NoGPS technology makes geo-location as an inherent characteristic of all electronic devices by making them “location-aware” through ‘sensor-activated deep-learning, neural network’ which estimates and updates device’s geo-location. Additionally there are powered and unpowered (energy-harvesting) BLE beacons which can provide location information, wirelessly, on open broadcast channels.

What it does : NoGPS technology provides geo-location without satellite communications. It is based on two principles:

(i) Every device should be inherently able to estimate their geo-location to “varied” degree of precision, and it should also be able to update its location when moved to a new location. (ii) Location information should be readily available through inexpensive NFC-BLE beacons, securely affixed to walls, roads, pathways, shops, offices, counters, buildings & desks, etc.

How I built it : I used Arduino board with Bluetooth and GPS receiver and an Android app to receive the data.

The circuitry makes a BLE-enable location beacon. GPS receiver provides the Longitude-latitude which is transmitted over bluetooth. This way of providing location information is at least 10 thousand times more efficient. When powered first time, the circuit gets location and after getting the first-fix, the GPS receiver will be disabled.

Challenges I ran into : I could get a place to work in basement only where GPS signal is almost impossible to get and first configuration of beacon requires GPS signal for a minute or so.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of : The circuit is fully functional. Now it just needs to be miniaturized.

What I learned : Galvanize is not a very suittable place to do hardware development

What's next for noGPS technology : 1) Vibration energy harvesting beacons embedded in roads 2) RF energy harvesting beacons for fixed locations like walls, shops , doorbells, house number plates, etc.

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