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Garmin GLO with GPS-GLONASS boosts mobile positioning

updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu July 12, 2012

Garmin GLO delivers high accuracy positioning for mobile devices

Garmin has taken the wraps off its latest portable navigation device. The new Garmin GLO is designed to bring 'high-integrity GPS capability to mobile devices.' The device works with both iOS and Android devices and offers up to 20 percent faster position locks than just by using GPS technology alone.

GLONASS is the Russian equivalent to the US' GPS system of 24 satellites that when combined with GPS offers up to 27 additional geostationary satellites from which to gain a position lock. The capability has been embedded by Qualcomm in its Snapdragon S2 and S3 chips, although while boosting the navigational capability of mobile phones, is still not as effective as using a dedicated device such as the Garmin GLO. To this, Garmin has added a faster 10 times per second refresh rate, further boosting location accuracy.

Mobile phones use a-GPS, or 'assisted' GPS, that also relies on cellphone tower locations in order to triangulate a user's position. The Garmin GLO will give adventurers and other users far better location accuracy when paired to a mobile phone than what a mobile phone can achieve on its own, particularly in remote locations. The Garmin GLO will last up to 12 hours on a charge and its particularly useful in deep canyons or urban environments built out with skyscrapers.

The Garmin GLO will be available in August for $99, while a version of aviators using tablets or smartphones for navigational assistance called the GLO for Aviation will also be available for $129.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Not mentioned is why tapping GLONASS satellites might help users in wilderness locations where the view of the sky is severely restricted, such as mountain valleys or thickly wooded areas. The more satellites you can use, the more you're likely to find several directly overhead, three being the absolute minimum for a position fix. The same is true of the concrete canyons of big cities and commercial vehicles that use GPS.

    Garmin might also want to look into a huge, untapped market--all the tablet devices that have Bluetooth but don't have GPS, including most iPads. We need a Bluetooth instrumentation protocol specifically designed to let a GPS sitting under a windshield send position data to a turn-by app running on an iPad sitting in someone's lap or on the passenger seat.

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