We've talked a lot about GeoFencing recently. GeoFencing is the technology behind location-based reminders and location-based promotions, but more importantly, it transforms mobile apps to being proactive based on location, instead of acting only when invoked by users. GeoFencing is being researched and developed for indoor location applications, mobile app discovery, and more.
But GeoFencing brings technical challenges. Constantly monitoring a phone's location to see when it enters or leaves a GeoFence drains the CPU and the battery. Checking only every minute risks not catching a GeoFence crossing in time. Additionally, GeoFencing needs to integrate GPS, indoor location systems, and other location positioning methods, depending on the phone's location and capabilities.
To answer these challenges, Broadcom has just released a GNSS chip (supporting GPS and other location systems) that includes built-in hardware-based GeoFencing. Their aim is to support GeoFencing without battery drain, with the hard work being done by the chip, not software.
We predicted in our comprehensive GeoFencing report that GeoFencing support would move to chips, and reported there on GeoFencing research by Qualcomm and other chip makers. With their new chip, Broadcom has staked a claim in this huge new area. Their chip integrates GeoFencing with not only GPS, but also Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Wi-Fi, sensor fusion, Near Field Communication (NFC) and other location positioning approaches.
Broadcom says that they will be showing their location innovations at MWC next week.
For more on GeoFencing, see our comprehensive report on ongoing R&D in the area, which enables you to learn about developments before they reach market. Also of interest is our comprehensive report on indoor location positioning technologies.