Browse Prior Art Database

GPS Locator for Networked Devices (NICs, wireless devices, integrated NICs, networked PDAs, switches/routers/hubs)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011523D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-26
Document File: 1 page(s) / 102K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In computer complexes it is often necessary to locate given host systems. This can be a time consuming job if it is a large complex with many systems. It would be advantageous if one had the ability to interrogate the desired system via its IP address and have the system return its coordinates via an integrated GPS locator.

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  GPS Locator for Networked Devices (NICs, wireless devices, integrated NICs, networked PDAs, switches/routers/hubs)

    Our idea is to add a GPS receiver unit to Network interface cards to interface with the NIC's CPU and return location coordinates to requesting user. Using a flag sent to the NIC's IP address, the NIC would respond back with the appropriate coordinates. Else, the location information might be returned along with a typical ping response, if the user-end program chooses to use the data sent to it. Providing a NIC BIOS would also be worthwhile, so one could turn off this feature, if desired.

There are software products which can locate physical machines based on hop-counts and known IP addresses, but they tend to only trace to a general vicinity. One of the benefits of this implementation is the ability to precisely locate a NIC. Provided the user also has a hand-held GPS receiver, they could track to the system (and the NIC within) based on the GPS location returned from the NIC.

This system could provide greater possibilities outside of the locality of the NIC, that is, it might be used to track transactions and communication by employers, government agencies, etc. Moreover, in a much different application, the GPS information might be used to interface with missile guidance systems.

Disclosed by International Business Machines Corporation

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