Location technology is advancing at an exponential rate, causing media to change as well – location intelligence has to keep pace. This isn’t your parents’ mobile network or media format any more.
Something important is happening out there. It’s happening right now, while I’m writing this…while you’re reading this. There are people in the U.S., in Europe, in Japan, China, Sweden and more busily moving from location to location in trucks and vans, working around us. What exactly is it that they’re up to?
They’re upgrading their cellular infrastructures to 5G – and it’s going to be life changing.
When cellular networks went from 2G to 3G, suddenly we could browse the internet from our mobile devices. From 3G to 4G, we gained broad ability to watch mobile video. As we move from 4G to 5G, we have to be ready for the increased bandwidth and latency improvements which 5G provides.
Positioning will also improve greatly. It is the ability to determine the location of an object in space. When I say this, in the context of mobile devices, you probably think of GPS. You and I have had access to GPS for a long time. Some may have trouble remembering ever having been without it. But truthfully, when it comes to precise positioning, GPS has its limits.
Depending on the device and environment, GPS can be inaccurate up to 50 to 100 meters. The HERE Positioning solution helps improve this further by leveraging other signals (WiFi), thus giving Publishers a path to more precision.
5G cellular networks are going to advance this even further. What we’re going to see as these networks come online is a sudden increase in highly-precise positioning. Where once we were measuring positioning accuracy in tens of meters, we will now be measuring a device’s location within meters, and even centimeters.
From meters to centimeters – literally a degree of change by about two orders of magnitude. This is going to enable a disruption – the good kind – in how we use our devices to navigate, and how we put location intelligence to work for us.
Today, in the context of our cars and personal devices, we’re accustomed to a Point of Interest (POI) view of the world – meaning a location is a point representation of a building, a landmark, or the intersection of two streets. With new network infrastructures, the industry will be able to translate into a full geometric view of the world.
To illustrate this more clearly, think of arriving at a mall. The address of your destination is 1535 Great Mall Avenue. But, that’s a POI. That address does not get you where you’re going. Is that address the front door? The loading dock? The back of a department store? Micro-point addresses translate into the ability to navigate at a far more granular level. Not just at the front door, but at a specific aisle within a store inside. Not just the loading dock, but a specific loading dock.
So as the data science advances, we advance the coverage of the geometric data that makes up the world around us. This will change how we use data, and more importantly, it will cause a ground shift in the what people expect from data.
What is also striking is how quickly human brains (the highly Adaptive Intelligents, or AIs) adapt to new media and experience formats. Just look at your teenagers, your kids, and see how fast they grasp new Augmented Reality interfaces, voice controlled TV remote controls.
Recall what I mentioned before about the advancement of network speeds. The world filled up with 3G networks, thus, people came to expect the ability to email on their smart phones. When 4G became ubiquitous, people adapted to expect high definition video on their mobile devices without issue.
With highly precise location intelligence, that same shift in expectation will have an impact on the entire IoT ecosystem. Our mobile devices, home appliances, and our vehicles, all of them will be required to be connected, all of them will be expected to work with each other as part of an autonomous world.
This can be easily observed in automotive. We already expect our cars and phones to tell us where traffic is. Advanced positioning is going to drive up the expectation not just to know where the traffic is, but what is the traffic specifically in the lane that I’m in? What are the road hazards and speed limit changes that I’m approaching? Where is there on-street parking at my destination? Very soon too, you’ll be engaging in a dialog with you car, and your car will reply.
We believe that the connected car is the next, next media experience platform.
HERE has already built the foundation that enable a connected ecosystem on the roadways. Those services use location intelligence and data from many different sources for consumers, businesses, and across competing car brands. Which is worth repeating: competing car brands.
This is the first time anyone has utilized rich sensor data from diverse connected vehicles and converted that data into services that are made available to multiple brands and companies. Every vehicle that benefits from our service also contributes back to the larger picture – a democratized, high definition view of the world around us.
What is needed to accomplish this? A neutral, trusted partner in the position of managing and protecting the privacy of each company.
Our job is data, intelligence, the condition of static and dynamic points in the world. The static data is the world geometry of the mall, the airport, or your local sports venue. The dynamic data comes from the mobile devices in our pockets, it comes from the mobile devices we sit in (our cars), and soon it will come from mobile devices that fly by (drones).
That combination of static and dynamic data is what we call the HERE Reality Index, which works with a constant influx of data produced by the perpetually changing world around us. It manages the collection, analysis, and sharing of millions of terabytes of vehicular, environmental, and physical infrastructure data each year. The Reality Index is our real-time digital representation of the world.
This availability of location intelligence will break ground for new services, and we expect consumers and users will adapt to these technologies quickly. Like GPS, the next generation may forget the time when they didn’t have connected data available.
We believe in an autonomous world for everyone, and the things we build like the Reality Index and the HERE Open Location Platform will help bring that to reality. With these services, we strive to enable a world that radically improves the way everyone and everything lives, moves, and interacts.