Developing smartphone apps using GPS and other localisation systems: opportunities and innovations

Gábor Németh


In this article, we talk about the applications, possibilities and supporting technologies that use localisation features. 3 minutes of content. Get a coffee and let’s get started!

The Arteries Studio team has been specialising in the development of smartphone applications that (also) exploit the potential of GPS technology for many years. Already at the height of 2014, we developed a mobile application for the Budapest public transport company that tracks thousands of vehicles in near real-time and performs complex operations on them. A lot has happened since then!

GPS or Global Positioning System is playing a crucial role in the development of more and more mobile applications, because as a modern company our clients are looking for personalised operation, and for many use-cases this requires precise positioning or tracking. A from sales and commerce apps working with location-based offers, from taxi apps to accident detection systems, from airport apps to public transport solutions, from public parking solutions to drone guidance systems or race tracking systems – Arteries’ repertoire of projects is, I think, a pretty convincing demonstration of our expertise in the innovative and effective use of GPS (and we’ll see how many other localisation) technologies.

Continuous(!) and real-time data collection is one of the main advantages of GPS-based mobile applications, and also their biggest challenge. In general – but I try to use little bullshit in this article – by exploiting the potential of the technology, our clients can really gain valuable insights into their users’ behaviour, which can help them optimise their processes and improve overall performance and even customer experience. This technology helps businesses make more informed decisions and provide a personalised experience for their users. That’s the point, really, and the goal. But let’s get to it!

I mentioned earlier that developing GPS-based mobile applications is challenging. For example, ensuring sufficiently accurate positioning and managing the power consumption of mobile phones require expertise and attention to detail. Collecting location data in the background is inherently challenging, different operating systems require different tricks to keep it running. At Arteries Studio Ltd., having experimented with these for years, we can say that our team is already quite good at dealing with these challenges. We develop solutions that can be both effective and reliable.

That’s why we can be trusted by Budapest Airport, BKK, City Taxi, Mercedes-Benz, or many other renowned and serious organisations and companies.

In addition to technical challenges, legal considerations are also important in the development of GPS-based applications. Data protection regulations and privacy laws must be carefully respected to ensure that location data is collected and used ethically and responsibly. Our team is familiar with these legal considerations, and we also bring in appropriate legal experts when our own knowledge is no longer sufficient to ensure that our applications meet the highest standards of privacy and security. Our internal data and information security policy also covers this area.

Looking a little further into the future, the possibilities for GPS-based mobile apps are about limitless. Advances in location technologies such as augmented reality and indoor location are opening the door to new and exciting applications. Imagine a game that seamlessly merges the virtual and real worlds in real time – or an app that acts as a personal tour guide in tourist destinations (we’ve done something similar in this area). Imagine a factory where ergonomic improvements are made based on the movement and even posture of workers, improving safety and efficiency. Or in logistics, AI and location data can be used to drive huge efficiency gains. These innovations really do hold huge potential for businesses to not only improve the customer experience, but also to drive growth.

As a development partner, Arteries Studio Ltd. can bring reliable and quality-oriented services to your company, even in this field! A diverse portfolio of a lot of our successful projects tells me that we are able to deliver usable and successful projects in almost any industry. We pay particular attention to detail, transparency and the use of technical terminology that is easy for our customers to understand, because ultimately the aim is to keep everyone motivated and aware of the processes and the expected results.

It is important to note that not only GPS technology can be used for positioning in these systems, but also e.g:

– GPS (Global Positioning System): the basis for location-based services, GPS provides precise and accurate positioning based on signals from satellites.

– Bluetooth and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy): these wireless technologies enable “proximity-based” interaction and can be used for indoor positioning, proximity marketing and seamless device connectivity.

– Wi-Fi location: you can also use Wi-Fi signals to identify the user’s location. This technology can provide location information e.g. in indoor environments where GPS signals may be weaker.

– Mobile cell location: by identifying the nearest cell tower, this technology can estimate the location of a mobile device. Quite accurately, by the way.

– Ultra Wideband (UWB): UWB enables highly accurate positioning by measuring the time it takes for signals to pass between devices, making it ideal for applications that require precise location data. iOS-based systems, for example, already provide this at a pretty good quality, but it is also possible to create such location tracking with external hardware.

– RFID (Radio Frequency Identification): RFID tags and readers can be used to track and locate objects IS space, making them useful in asset tracking and inventory management applications. The technology is gaining popularity, replacing traditional barcodes in many places, and data can be written into some types, opening up further possibilities.

– NFC (Near Field Communication): NFC technology enables short-range communication between devices and can be used for contactless payment, access control and identification, but also for localisation.

– Inertial measurement units: these sensors, such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, enable motion and orientation tracking, improving the accuracy of location-based applications.

– A-GPS (Assisted GPS): improves the performance of conventional GPS, especially in situations where the GPS signal is weak or unstable. With A-GPS, the device connects to satellites faster by receiving advance information from the nearest cell phone tower, which helps identify the current position of satellites. It is also more energy efficient.

– GNSS: The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), including systems such as GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou, provides additional satellite capabilities for location-based services, ensuring more comprehensive coverage.

– IRNSS: The India Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is India’s regional navigation system, which can be used for precise positioning and navigation within the country.

– QZSS: QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System) is a Japanese satellite system that improves positioning accuracy in urban canyons and other challenging environments.

– LORAN-C: LORAN-C is a ground navigation system that uses low frequency radio signals to provide positioning information.

– Pseudolites: pseudolites are ground stations that mimic satellite signals, helping to improve positioning accuracy in certain areas.

– Visual location services and imaging-based technologies: using computer vision and image recognition, these technologies allow applications to derive location information from visual cues, such as landmarks or image overlays, and pinpoint the location of the person taking the image.

With the Arteries Studio Ltd. team, we seamlessly integrate these modern technologies into our mobile app development process. We create robust and innovative solutions that we hope will not only satisfy, but even exceed our clients’ expectations.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you if you need a system that (also) uses these solutions!

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