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Cellphone Locator System Needs No Satellite

Wanderers with phones and other devices that have GPS chips can figure out where they are using signals from satellites thousands of miles up, but those are easily blocked by walls or trees. The founders of Skyhook Wireless discovered some alternative nav
Wanderers with phones and other devices that have GPS chips can figure out where they are using signals from satellites thousands of miles up, but those are easily blocked by walls or trees. The founders of Skyhook Wireless discovered some alternative navigational beacons: the signals coming from the Wi-Fi network in the coffee shop across the street, or the apartment upstairs. Skyhook uses the chaotic patchwork of the world’s Wi-Fi networks, as well as cell towers, as the basis for a location lookup service that is built into every iPhone, making it easier to pull up a map or find Chinese food nearby. The start-up was founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean, who traveled frequently for work and noticed the proliferation of wireless signals each time they cracked open their laptops to check their e-mail. “We were amazed by the sheer growth of Wi-Fi,” Mr. Morgan said in an interview in April at the company’s offices here. “We knew there had to be a new model for mapping location using those signals.”
Wi-Fi signals travel only a few hundred feet at malpractice insurance most, so if you have massachusetts auto insurance quote a map best rv insurance of the Wi-Fi networks in a given area, you can use texas disability insurance those signals to new jersey car insurance pinpoint a phone’s location. Making that map is the tricky part. When Mr. Morgan and Mr. Shean decided to pursue their idea, they started building a midland national insurance truck insurance mart database of Wi-Fi access points, along texas motorcycle insurance with cellphone towers, affordable dental insurance which have much more car insurance ontario powerful signals. At first they tried paying taxi british horse society insurance drivers to carry equipment national life and accident insurance that silently recorded the auto insurance quote comparison locations of networks online car insurance uk as they roamed the streets, cheap static caravan insurance Mr. Morgan said. Then they hired dental insurance minneapolis full-time drivers cruise holiday insurance discount car insurance to work liability insurance cover ground systematically, much as rental insurance coverage Google does commercial business insurance for its Street View service. home insurance san diego Skyhook says it has snowboarding travel insurance scanned areas containing travel insurance asia 70 percent of the country’s population. “It doesn’t home insurance quebec seem realistic to drive up commercial liability insurance texas and down columbian life insurance vauxhall car insurance every long term care insurance policy street in the bmw motorcycle insurance U.S.,” Mr. Morgan said. massachusetts renters insurance “But you can.” Skyhook planning permission indemnity insurance now employs a fleet of 500 drivers to feed a database that spans North America, Asia overseas travel medical insurance and Europe. The vintage vehicle insurance landscape of signals changes constantly as careington dental insurance people and sbi insurance businesses set brentwood insurance services direct choice motor insurance up and take down flood insurance premiums wireless networks, so the scanning process never ends. Each Skyhook car contains a rv insurance laptop car insurance woman driver outfitted with antennas and equipment that sends out short blasts insurance bad faith lawyers california of radio nebraska long term care insurance waves, called probe requests, to detect car insurance broker uk nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi networks. home insurance in New Jersey The system calculates the source of the signals car insurance france based on cat c insurance loss their concord auto insurance strength title insurance education trailer insurance and the location of international travel insurance the car. insurance investment banking That information private dental insurance is logged in the Skyhook database, which includes more than 100 credit card insurance fraud million wireless best home insurance networks and discount auto insurance quotes 1 cover insurance 700,000 cellular term life insurance comparison towers. Skyhook’s motorcar insurance big break came in winter sports holiday insurance August 2007 when Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, requested a meeting with the company. Mr. Morgan said he initially deleted Mr. homeowners association insurance kotak mahindra insurance Jobs’s voice disability insurance quote building regulation indemnity insurance mail message, dismissing it holiday insurance australia as marine insurance jobs a prank, but soon legal malpractice insurance new york realized his mistake. Since then, flood insurance agency Apple has sold 37 million iPhones and iPod Touches worldwide, hochheim prairie insurance all with Skyhook’s jukes insurance software on life insurance appointments them. dog breeders insurance Mr. Morgan tourer insurance declined internet insurance leads to detail specifics admitted insurance carriers of Skyhook’s homeowners insurance financial travel insurance cancer agreement with Apple, car insurance specialist other than to say business income insurance car in insurance toronto that short period car insurance his car insurance in Denver company collects compare long term care insurance a commission for each device home insurance vintage car insurance sold. When an iPhone westfield auto insurance owner starts up an application 401k insurance that involves location — like the restaurant finder accent insurance Urbanspoon or the forecast service WeatherBug — the phone calculates health insurance hong kong whether it is likely to get the best and fastest information from non resident travel insurance its own GPS hyperformance car insurance car insurance calgary flood hazard insurance chip or from liability insurance australia Skyhook’s system. Skyhook says it can provide a fix on location in seconds, versus up to low cost term life insurance a minute for GPS, although Skyhook southland dental insurance life insurance advice is less useful in areas with few Wi-Fi networks. Skyhook checks a list of nearby pet health care insurance Wi-Fi access points suze orman life insurance and pacificare life and health insurance cell towers suicide insurance against its database and visitor insurance triangulates home insurance in Louisiana european cover car insurance general business insurance the device’s location bridgewater insurance within 30 to 60 feet. The company says it is not connecting to those Wi-Fi alberta car insurance networks, just detecting their presence. (As a backup, auto insurance underwriter the iPhone can also use cell tower information from Google.) Any new boat insurance calculator mahowald insurance access points and cell towers detected public liability insurance music young female car insurance by the iPhone are automatically added baby insurance to the Skyhook database, making credit insurance uk it, in Mr. northwestern life insurance Morgan’s words, car insurance ri “self-healing.” Apart from mortgage insurance chart credit life and disability insurance Apple, Skyhook automibile insurance also has partnerships nj cheap car insurance with AOL to allow people to see the location of their chat european travel insurance buddies, and business flood insurance with cheap car insurance in northern ireland Navteq, a low cost auto insurance maker of medical insurance in Utah car navigation systems. privlage car insurance Skyhook is good car insurance even embedded into Eye-Fi memory cards for digital cameras, car compare insurance rate insurance salvage car where it keeps track of direct line insurance car mini moto insurance where photos are taken. The company says it camp liability insurance handles 250 million location wedding event insurance requests orlando car insurance a day. Skyhook has raised $16.8 million auto owners insurance co in venture capital financing from investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Intel Capital. saga car insurance Mr. Morgan said it was not dental insurance md seeking more financing right now and was pet life insurance working on expanding the business. “If we do that successfully, there will be plenty of good choices for us,” he expat medical insurance said, perhaps compare life insurance policies including a public offering. As moving insurance toronto auto insurance company Skyhook manufacturer auto insurance finds success and more arkansas dental insurance gadgets become “location-aware,” competitors are likely to dental georgia insurance plan stake educators professional liability insurance arizona auto insurance rate out oregon car insurance their own share senior citizen insurance of the market, said Chetan louisiana home insurance Sharma, an independent telecommunications industry researcher. Mr. Sharma says that Mexens Technology has a system that relies on user term life insurance vs whole life insurance contributions european insurance cover to build a signal map. And a Google service kidney transplant insurance called My Location school accident insurance works on many car insurance japanese phones and uses life insurance rate comparison a combination of GPS, cellphone cheapest dog insurance towers beneficial life insurance ontario health insurance and Wi-Fi. A Google spokeswoman, Katie Watson, said the company collected insurance groups car uk senior citizen travel insurance its choice quote insurance signal data golf liability insurance from life insurance policy search several davis vision insurance sources, caravan insurance online quote including phones running its airplane renters insurance software. “Skyhook motorcycle insurance nj accidental death insurance is rampart insurance certainly ahead of the curve with its eye surgery insurance service,” Mr. trucking liability insurance Sharma honeymoon insurance said. “Whether they car in insurance quote toronto will sustain their momentum for the next five years remains to be seen. But they have a lot of opportunities fixed life insurance greater new york insurance to make it work.” Charles S. Golvin, a mexican car rental insurance principal analyst at Forrester Research specializing in mobile devices and telecommunications, rider insurance nj daihatsu car insurance agreed that Skyhook was well positioned. “There are so many more phones classic car insurance northern ireland coming to the market auto insurance texas that have GPS and Wi-Fi,” he said. Mr. Golvin georgia small business health insurance added: “Think about all the other devices with Wi-Fi, like landlord insurance queensland the teacher liability insurance Nintendo new york flood insurance DS, car classic insurance quote Sony PSP, business insurance companies netbooks, digital cameras.” Mr. Morgan and Mr. Shean are trying to get Skyhook onto as many maine dental insurance devices as they can. Programmers who want to build location-based applications for phones other senior citizen holiday insurance than the iPhone can license car insurance for men its software, and several do. The company has deals to fire and theft car insurance nevada homeowners insurance put its software into chips affordable vision insurance made by Qualcomm and Broadcom, and it plans cruise trip insurance to announce sheila car insurance a partnership with a major manufacturer of netbooks by the guarantee insurance company end of the year. Mr. Morgan is aware understanding health insurance of the competition. car instant insurance quote uk “There’s marine insurance law always the death and dismemberment insurance threat that Google or some other company will rn liability insurance liability insurance illinois just give alstate car insurance that information away high value house insurance for free,” he said. To that end, the company has filed line uk car insurance on for multiple patents, including ones to protect its methodology for updating its aetna vision insurance database. conseco cancer insurance restaurant liability insurance Several framed patents hang relocation insurance on the south florida homeowners insurance walls massachusetts homeowners insurance annual travel insurance europe of title insurance rspca insurance classic carinsurance quote its offices. “But we’re hoping that our six years of driving around in cars, mapping out the various countries, young peoples car insurance will homeowners insurance prices pay off,” he said. “We’ve done rv insurance salvage more online motorcycle insurance quote uk than 2,000 cities. They have a disability income insurance long way to go.”

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