More accurate GPS ready to change the way we shop, interact, and explore

New technology reduces location errors from the size of a car to the size of a nickel—a 100 times increase in accuracy. This is a major technological breakthrough that will affect how we interact with environments, the places we shop, and entertainment venues.

June 03, 2015 |
GenslerOn
More accurate GPS ready to change the way we shop, interact, and explore

More accurate GPS will foster previously unimaginable connections between mobile device users. Image: Irwin MIller

This week brought the introduction of GPS technology capable of increasing accuracy of positioning from a few feet down to a few centimeters. The new technology reduces location errors from the size of a car to the size of a nickel—a 100 times increase in accuracy. This is a major technological breakthrough that will affect how we interact with environments, the places we shop, and entertainment venues, as well as how we travel and connect with individuals around us. It also opens up the possibility for advances in exciting technologies like virtual reality (VR), mobile mapping.

GPS with this level of accuracy has long been available for geology, surveying and mapping, but until now it’s been cost-prohibitive due to costly antennas and large-scale infrastructure. The big breakthrough that is allowing the application of it to everyday devices is the ability to utilize already existing antennas in smart phones and other personal devices.

 

Imagine being directed to the exact spot where you desired items are located. Image: Irwin Miller

 

Imagine shopping in a store where your GPS-enabled smartphone leads you to the exact product you want on the exact shelf where it is stocked. Imagine communicating more accurately with iBeacons in retail, hospitality and museum environments. Imagine having the ability to expand your universe in VR enabled games using devices like the Samsung Gear Headset that was recently released as a cost-effective VR.

Devices equipped with the new GPS will be able to understand the sections in a store you frequent most and which products you interact with most. Suggestions for related items could be sent to your phone, letting you know exactly where such items can be found. (Follow-up product offers can also be sent if the product you are looking for is not available.)

The new GPS also holds exciting consequences for drone use. GPS equipped drones could deliver products to your front step or a precise spot under your mailbox that you, the customer, specify.

 

Self-driving will benefit from the inclusion of more accurate GPS systems. Image: Irwin Miller

 

A more precise GPS will provide self-driving cars, like those being developed by Google, with far greater accuracy, making such vehicles safer.

And these GPS systems can work in tandem, strengthening social bonds and helping users forge connections with those around them. Accurate data of who is around you in the restaurant, on an airplane, store or entertainment venue can be sent to users, providing the ability to interact with your device like sending someone a cocktail or sharing a coupon you can’t use.

Much like the revolution that higher levels of details and pixel-count brought to digital photography during the past decade, or the massive increase in broadband Internet speeds from dial-up years prior, I believe more accurate GPS will add levels of capabilities that developers and designers of environments will be able to utilize immediately. Lifestyle brands, retailers, and consumers can all benefit from the capabilities technologies like this afford their environments.

The key to leveraging these powers and achieving success will be finding the right pairing of applications and a thoughtful approach to enhancing experiences. We must further connect consumers+brands+environments to achieve elevated outcomes.

 

With these new GPS systems in tow, drones could deliver packages to an exact spot at a person's residence. Image: Irwin Miller

 

About the Author: Irwin Miller is a Lifestyle Sector Leader for Gensler's global practice, and a Design Principal in the Los Angeles office. Focused on brand integration and user experience in retail environments, Irwin is forever motivated by his own daily encounters with design: finding inspirations everywhere from the county fair to summer holidays with family in Europe. Contact him at irwin_miller@gensler.com

GenslerOn | Gensler

Published by Gensler, a global design firm with 5,000 practitioners networked across five continents, GenslerOn features insights and opinions of architects and designers on how design innovation makes cities more livable, work smarter, and leisure more engaging. Our contributors write about projects of every scale, from refreshing a retailer’s brand to planning a new urban district, all the while explaining how great design can optimize business performance and human potential. For more blog posts, visit: http://www.gensleron.com.

Related Blogs

People sitting in an indoor collaboration space

JLABS @ TMC, part of a network of life science incubators meant to catalyze discovery in the field. Photo: Shau Lin Hon, Slyworks Photography.

August 11, 2017 | Healthcare Facilities | GenslerJohn J. parman

Healthcare exemplifies how technology innovations like digital connectivity and artificial intelligence are...

A rendering of the Hub on Causeway

The Hub on Causeway. Rendering courtesy of Gensler

July 27, 2017 | Retail Centers | GenslerDavid Glover

Consumers expect more from retailers and brands than ever before.

Image © The Student Hotel, Photography by Kasia Gatkowska

July 19, 2017 | Multifamily Housing | GenslerJonathan Breen and Diana Lee

The Student Hotel is representative of a new model for delivering housing solutions for students globally. ...

June 29, 2017 | Healthcare Facilities | GenslerTama Duffy Day

Out of the many insights that night, everyone agreed that the healthcare industry is ripe for disruption an...

May 23, 2017 | AEC Tech | GenslerWilliam Ringer

As AI proves safe, big business will want to reduce overhead.

Gensler’s Sleep Set 2016 concept. Image © Gensler.

May 19, 2017 | Hotel Facilities | GenslerNicola Law

There’s a shift from accommodating to specific market niches towards places that can adapt to changing mood...

Image © Carvana.

April 27, 2017 | Retail Centers | GenslerDeeg Snyder

Significant changes are underway as automotive manufacturers and retailers try to anticipate consumer deman...

Moffitt Cancer Center Core Laboratory. Image © Gensler

April 13, 2017 | Laboratories | GenslerJustin Cratty and Erik Lustgarten

While most labs are designed to achieve that basic functionality, a transformational lab environment priori...

Image: Jasper Sanidad.

March 28, 2017 | Architects | GenslerNick Bryan

Restroom access affects everyone: people with medical needs or disabilities, caretakers, transgender people...

Image © George Clerk.

February 20, 2017 | Hotel Facilities | GenslerClaire Richmond

Change is inevitable and it impacts on everything, not least on the way we design.

Overlay Init