One of the primary drivers of GPS tracking growth is the smartphone industry. Users are now able to access location-based apps such as maps, ride-sharing, and geotagging, all because almost every smartphone is equipped with GPS capabilities. Wearable technology, whose prominence as an industry became possible due to the smartphone industry, has also played a considerable role in the spread of GPS technology. Fitness trackers and smartwatches are incredibly popular gadgets because of their potential to track physical activity and give access to instant location data. The integration of GPS technology with personal gadgets has also led to progress in emergency response systems, which helps with accurately tracking individuals in distress. Along with it, the technology has become a crucial tool for search and rescue operations, which has greatly improved the response time and saved lives that could have otherwise not been saved.
All kinds of GPS development in the personal devices has been made possible due to two factors:
- GPS Chipsets: Wearable devices, as well as smartphones, come equipped with specialized GPS chipsets, which have the ability to receive and decode signals from multiple satellites. Since such devices are battery-run and have limited battery life, these chips are particularly designed to be power efficient, hence making continuous use possible.
- Location Services: Along with GPS chipsets, location services in personal devices are responsible for the improvement in the precision of GPS tracking. These services rely on a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks to provide reliable location data, which are too satellite-based.
Navigation and location-based services are two of the most frequently used applications on personal devices. Users are able to navigate their way through non-familiar places by using mapping, which gives guidance on the turn-by-turn directions, making it convenient for travelers to reach their destination by saving time and also avoiding getting lost. Other than mapping, location sharing and geotagging are two features with usage in social media applications. This makes it possible for users to share their real-time location with family and friends to coordinate meet-ups and stay in touch.
Apart from convenience, safety and security features are also provided by personal devices. Emergency services can now be accessed instantly in cases of need, which has been made possible due to location-based technology. Another vital feature of GPS in personal devices is the anti-theft feature, which has proved to be of paramount importance in personal devices because of their portability, and thus prone to being stolen. Through GPS, remote locking and wiping could be enabled, which makes it impossible for thieves to access personal information. Location-based assistance has also made tracking and recovery possible in case of a lost or stolen device.
As technology evolves more, the practical application of GPS technology in personal devices is expected to grow more sophisticated and would, in turn, leave a lasting effect on our daily lives. The recent years have seen a considerable advancement, bringing about a sea of benefits, including but not limited to improved accuracy and low energy consumption. Compared to what it was in the past, GPS technology has improved in terms of its accuracy, particularly in urban areas, where it was not the case before. This has made navigation in portable devices more convenient and reliable. Low energy consumption, on the other hand, is made possible, that has not only lead to longer battery life in personal devices but has also made the integration of GPS into smaller devices a reality. Low-power devices, such as fitness trackers, can now be used for their purpose without having their batteries drained quickly.
With the frequent growth in GPS technology, integration between different technologies is seen as a possible dawn. One such exciting trend is its integration with augmented reality, which is itself an emerging technology, which attempts to combine the real world with virtual factors, and with the help of GPS technology, these virtual elements can be location-specific. This poses endless possibilities, which can lead to fascinating experiences in tourism and education. In the sphere of moving towards an inter-connected world, GPS technology is leading the path with the help of personal devices.
However, with the huge benefits that come with the usage and access of GPS technology through personal devices, there has also been an outcry about the ethical challenges that it poses, among which privacy concern is considered a significant one. With the growing use of GPS in personal devices, the impression that individuals are being monitored and their location and tracking data are being accessed somehow exists. This not only leads to concerns regarding individual autonomy but also to the potential misuse by unfriendly governments and terrorist organizations.
As is with every technology, the presence of ethical concerns is not a point of concern, but ignorance of them is. The same is true for GPS technology in personal devices. The essential perspective that needs to be taken into account is understanding and addressing these ethical questions and not making them a point of drawback or a reason to be used in resistance to the growing technology. And by doing so, a responsible and ethical use of GPS technology can be ensured, in which case it would lead to a sustainable, safe, and equitable world for all.