Technology evolves so quickly that keeping up with the latest developments can feel impossible. Just look at how much more data the world has than a decade ago. In 2012, humans created and consumed about 6.5 zettabytes of data. In 2022, that amount reached 97 zettabytes. Researchers believe the amount of data created yearly will exceed 180 zettabytes by 2025.
That explosion of information shows how much civilization has moved toward digitization. Today, people rely on all kinds of electronic devices, including laptops, smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, and GPS units.
So, what trends with GPS units should you expect in the near future? Here are a few developments already in progress.
Improving the accuracy of GPS technology will make it much easier for users to reach their goals. Imagine that you own a warehouse and want to know the precise location of an item. Increased accuracy could make it easier for employees and robots to find the correct package, saving everyone time, effort, and money.
Currently, GPS devices rely on a network of 30+ satellites that orbit the planet. A standalone device like the LandAirSea 54 communicates with at least four of those satellites to calculate the unit’s location. Accuracy depends on several factors, including the type of device you use. The LAS 54 can connect with satellites and transfer information to software that pinpoints the location within 1.8 meters (about 6 feet) of accuracy. Most smartphones can give you accuracy within 4.9 meters (about 16 feet).
Trends with GPS units toward more accuracy will make devices more useful. Expect to see GPS units that can tell warehouse employees exactly where to find the product ordered by a customer. They can walk directly to the correct spot without wasting time sifting through other packages. As a result, consumers will get their orders faster, employees won’t need to work as hard, and companies will earn more money. It’s a win for everyone.
SMALLER GPS DEVICES
Building more compact designs is an ongoing trend with GPS units. Many applications of GPS technology rely on small sizes. For example, you want the smallest device possible when you track a package as it moves toward its destination. You also want smaller units when using GPS for security. If thieves can see the device easily, they will simply remove it to prevent you from tracking them.
Our smallest unit is the LAS 54, which is less than an inch tall. Within a few years, though, smaller devices could make GPS units more effective than ever.
SECURITY THAT PREVENTS CRIMINAL INTERFERENCE
When people in North America talk about trends with GPS units, they’re really discussing one section of a global system called the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). For the most part, GNSS works incredibly well. As long as you choose a reputable model, you can trust a GPS unit to give you accurate, efficient driving directions. You don’t even think twice about how much effort goes into telling you how to reach your destination. It just works.
However, there are circumstances when criminals want to interfere with GNSS security. For example, a criminal trying to steal an expensive car might intentionally jam communications to prevent the owner and authorities from tracking the vehicle’s location.
Security has become increasingly important to industries that use GPS the most. You want your provider to keep up with trends in GPS units when you’re monitoring an item worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The LAS Overdrive is a good option for tracking expensive assets and preventing theft. It has a waterproof, dustproof design that can withstand most environments. It also has a long battery life that can last up to four weeks and potentially 12 months when set to low power mode.
GPS researchers, developers, and related professionals are working on solutions to improve GNSS security, which will also improve GPS security. Of course, criminals will try to find ways to counter their progress. Stopping crime is always a game of “cat and mouse.” Still, upcoming improvements will put GPS companies and users ahead of criminals that want to interfere with the system. That’s a big deal that could eventually affect everyone, from delivery drivers to security contractors.
TIME: THE FOURTH DIMENSION
GPS can track four dimensions: longitude, latitude, altitude, and time. GPS satellites have atomic clocks that can communicate precise times to devices. Currently, organizations use this feature to timestamp contracts, synchronize hazardous weather reports to improve in-flight safety, and generate invoices based on how long someone uses a service.
Even movie producers have found ways to use the GPS’s atomic clocks. Many use the accurate time to coordinate content from multiple cameras. Accurate timestamps also make it easier to combine audio and video.
Currently, consumers don’t benefit as much from the GPS’s atomic clocks. Some experts expect that to change soon as GNNS adds more civilian signals to its network. This would improve the accuracy of smartphones, standalone GPS units, smartwatches, and similar devices. These trends with GPS units are ongoing, so the future remains unknown. Still, it seems reasonable to expect the technology to appear in more GPS devices within the next few years.
HOW LAS CAN HELP
LAS works with diverse industries to make sure we keep up with your needs and evolving trends with GPS units. Visit our industries page to learn more about we assist consumers, businesses, and government agencies. You might be surprised to learn that we do more than help companies manage commercial fleets. We also have GPS units and software for hikers, event coordinators, food trucks, and health care providers.
Do you want assistance choosing the right GPS devices for your needs? Feel free to contact our office by email or phone. We have representatives who speak English and Spanish, so we can serve most people in North America and beyond. We look forward to hearing from you and solving your GPS needs!