Location, Location, Location
Anyone who’s tried it knows: the Global Positioning System works great when you’re finding your way back from the middle of nowhere. But in a crowded city, where satellite signals ricochet off buildings, the system isn’t terribly accurate; relying on GPS may land you in the Hudson River rather than at the Empire State Building. South San Francisco, CA-based startup Enuvis has developed software that helps GPS cope with the urban jungle. Called UrbanGPS, the software includes algorithms that help units lock onto weak satellite signals, differentiate true signals from echoes and process more of the satellite signal faster. Enuvis has tested the technology in some of the world’s toughest cities-including Tokyo, Seoul and San Francisco. Receivers using UrbanGPS were twice as accurate as standard units, giving position within 20 to 40 meters, according to company president Michael Kim. The company is marketing the software, which can run on simple microprocessors, to cellular carriers looking to provide location-based services such as enhanced directory assistance, traffic information, personal navigation and emergency assistance.