Patent covers technology that enables first-ever location aware networks that immediately locate any device upon connection
WILSONVILLE, Ore. – MobilityWire® – April 12, 2011
ZuluTime, LLC (www.zulutimecorp.com) announced today issuance of US Patent #7,876,266, “Harmonic Block Technique for Computing Space-Time Solutions for Communication Networks,” covering a new architecture that enables wireless networks to become “location aware” through normal communications traffic on those networks. Simply by their involvement in a ZuluTime software-enabled wireless network, smartphones and other networked devices can be immediately located and positioned with greater accuracy, particularly in distortion-rich environments.
Unlike other location-based services that require a device to interpret network information to determine a position, the ZuluTime network architecture and technology are the first to put location intelligence on the network. A ZuluTime network can immediately learn the location of any device as soon as that device connects to it, with accuracy in a few meters versus tens of meters with existing solutions. The ZuluTime technology is particularly well-suited for indoor applications, and is capable of precision positioning on wireless networks of any variety, including Wi-Fi, cellular, Bluetooth, enhanced GPS, wireless sensor networks, ZigBee and even Near Field Communications (NFC). This unique technology agnostic approach addresses concerns of IT and mobile media departments with respect to future scalability and migration to newly adopted wireless protocols.
The patent claims address the rudimentary data gathering and data sharing components necessary to weave location capabilities directly into the fabric of wireless network operations. Accuracy and latency is greatly improved for indoor applications, from the tens of meters and tens of seconds in most current methodologies down to aisle-level and a few seconds with ZuluTime. This means that smartphones and similar devices can be now located accurately and generate navigation services for the user in interior spaces where GPS signals cannot penetrate or yield low accuracy.
“This initial patent teaches how basic engineering practices can harvest and share information from the normal packet traffic of wireless networks, eliminating the need for network synchronization, monitoring or classic ‘master references,’” said Geoffrey Rhoads, ZuluTime’s co-founder and holder of more than 300 U.S. patents. “Imagine the services and analytics that can be created for such applications as retail. A big box retailer can know the shopping patterns of every customer that walks into its store with a switched on phone without violating any privacy. Shoppers can opt in for a wide variety of experience-enhancing services such as location-relevant coupons, navigation maps leading to items on specific shelves and summoning a customer service rep to the exact location where the shopper is standing.”
The announcement of the patent comes as retail and social location-based services are gaining significant growth and consumer adoption. The ZuluTime solution locates a shopper’s smartphone persistently at aisle level during the shopper’s trip throughout an entire store. Retailers and brands can then generate personalized, relevant offers based on the shopper’s location, loyalty program profile and real-time shopping behavior in the store. Through extracting the X,Y and Z coordinates of a shopper with time codes, retailers can observe individual shopping paths, dwell times and changes in shopper behavior based on offers, displays or changes in store layout.
ZuluTime is innovating and evolving position, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies for wireless networks. The company’s patented architecture enables wireless networks to become “location aware” through normal communications traffic that occurs on those networks. Simply by their involvement in a wireless network, smartphones and other networked devices are located and positioned in interior spaces with far greater accuracy, even in distortion-rich environments where GPS signals cannot penetrate. ZuluTime technology greatly expands opportunities for location-based services in retail, social networks and industrial applications without embedded technology or special rule sets or synchronization. ZuluTime is privately held and was formed in 2006 to develop new inventions in position, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies for wireless networks. For more information visit www.zulutimecorp.com.
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