It used to be that having a digital camera built into your mobile phone made you the envy of all your friends. These days, it’s pretty standard fare. By the same accord, having location-based services on your cell phone is still a pretty novel feature, but it could become much more mainstream with this new innovation from Sagem Orga.
The smart card maker has developed a regular old SIM card that happens to integrated assisted-GPS (A-GPS) positioning technology. As a result, phones that don’t have integrated A-GPS can gain that positioning ability. Granted, aGPS is probably not accurate enough to provide you with turn-by-turn directions in real time, but it is good enough to provide for some interesting location-based services.
Because the A-GPS technology is integrated into the SIM cards, Sagem Orga says that this will provide a relatively inexpensive way of opening up the market for location-based services. The GPS receiver and proprietary antenna are built into the SIM card. Naturally, this SIM costs more than a regular SIM, but the additional cost should be fairly minimal.
In fact, if Sagem Orga gets its way, A-GPS on a SIM could become a standard feature in the future. This could bring about fears of “big brother” watching and tracking you, but you would gain the ability to get targeted SMS advertising and that kind of thing. Wait. That’s not good for the consumer either, is it?