April 15, 2004

Interesting research project

From Slashdot comes a link to this project as reported in the New Scientist. Basically, if you are in a foreign city and lost, you use the camera in your cell phone to take a picture of a building. You call and send the picture to a remote server and it uses image recognition to tell you exactly where you are (and bills you a fee). Since GPS doesn't work well around tall buildings, this has the potential to give very high accuracy positioning information. From the article: bq. "Telling people 'You are in the vicinity of X' is no good to man nor beast," says John Craig of Cambridge Positioning Systems, a company that develops software for locating mobile phones. bq. Unlike the GPS or cellphone base station approaches, Cipolla and Robertson's software can tell which direction you are facing. So the service can launch straight into a set of directions such as "turn to your left and start walking", or give information on the building in the photograph. Very cool idea - this will take a lot of up-front development costs but the actual software is not that difficult (since they will also know what cellular base station your call is coming through so they know within a mile or so where you are). Make it cheap enough for people to use without thinking (One dollar?) and they will get a flood of users. Posted by DaveH at April 15, 2004 9:12 AM