A California start up has developed navigation technology that is more accurate and uses 90 percent less smartphone battery than GPS. Ben Gruber reports.
STORY: For the most part, GPS works great. It gives people the ability to get from point A to point B with a simple press of a button on a smartphone. That's until you hit a big city. Tall buildings and satellite signals don't like each other and in an era where companies like UBER and YELP depend on accurate navigation, Pete Tenereillo of California start up Pathsense has this to say. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETE TENEREILLO, CEO AND FOUNDER, PATHSENSE, SAYING: "GPS sucks. First off it sucks in accuracy especially in major metros where these transportation apps and delivery apps are thriving and, you know, satellite signals bounce all over the place." GPS also literally sucks…quickly draining the battery life of a phone as its processors work overtime to triangulate real time satellite data. Tenereillo and his team have developed a technology that he says tackles both of these issues. Instead of using satellites, Pathsense has written code that turns your phone into a navigation device similar to what's found on a submarine. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETE TENEREILLO, CEO AND FOUNDER, PATHSENSE, SAYING: "We are using inertial navigation, so we are using things like the gyro, magnetometer and accelerometer and other sensors and these are things that are able to run even when the CPU on the phone is not on." And without the CPU running, the phone uses 90 percent less battery than GPS. Ironically, thanks to satellite data, an accurate map of planet Earth now exists. Pathsense utilizes those maps and uses the phones sensors to take the satellites out of the equation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETE TENEREILLO, CEO AND FOUNDER, PATHSENSE, SAYING: "So we know a map of San Francisco or a map of Arizona or Abu Dhabi. We can know a map of the inside of a Wall Mart and that is how we combine the sensor data with the things that we know about the world and we can continually correct." There are more than 500,000 apps that utilize location services between Apple and Android, a potentially huge market for the start up. Tanereillo is confident his company is heading….in the right direction.