Blue dot reinvented

In 2006, Sam Liang of Google made the blue dot on Google's mobile maps: the one that tells you where you are.
Alohar's technology works by using not just the usual location-finding sensors (the GPS receiver and Wi-Fi hot spot triangulation) but also other sensors and algorithms, some of which Liang would not tell me about. It does use the accelerometer and compass, I learned, and also statistical modeling to tell "where you most likely are."

Car navigation apps also use a form of modeling: Since you're in a car, they assume you're on a road, and even if the GPS radios aren't placing you directly on a road, the algorithms will "snap" your location to one by default. Alohar does similar things but uses more data: If you're moving at walking speed, for example, it will place you on a sidewalk or in a building, not in the middle of the street. If the camera on your phone sees fluorescent light, it will try to geolocate you to an indoor location.

If you stop moving, Alohar will shut down the GPS until you start again; that's one way it does better geolocation while using less power.


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