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Simplified destination specification when using a GPS system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000145614D
Original Publication Date: 2007-Jan-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Jan-19
Document File: 3 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a powerful infrastructure that allows for smart navigation systems. However, the operations needed to enter the target destination are sometimes a hurdle which impacts the usability and thus the acceptance for these systems. In this article, an alternate way for entering target destinations is described.

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Simplified destination specification when using a GPS system

Background

The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a powerful infrastructure which allows users of this infrastructure to determine their position with respect to the worldwide coordinate system. The GPS is based on a set of satellites transmitting radio signals, each one moving along a precisely defined orbit. A device that includes a GPS receiver can receive these radio signals and translate the received signals into coordinates of the worldwide coordinate system. By combining these computed coordinates with a geographic map containing coordinates of cities, streets, and buildings, this combined information allows to compute driving instructions for a car; these driving instructions can even be computed in realtime while driving the car. Today, such GPS-based navigation systems are commercially offered, often integrated with the car's audio system (FM receiver, CD player).

Problem

Currently, a significant hurdle to use a GPS-based navigation system is the effort required and the complexity of the operations needed to enter the target destination. For example, it may be required to enter a city, a street, and a street number. And for GPS-based navigations built into the car's audio system, often there is no alphanumeric keyboard available, thus other input devices like the volume key or the key for storing a FM radio station's frequency are "abused" to enter alphabetic characters. In addition, to help the user save unnecessary keystrokes, often automatic completion of incomplete input is performed depending on the ambiguity of the already entered partial input. For experienced users, this type of input is eventually no inhibitor to use the system. However, for the occasional user the entering of the target destination remains a major hurdle when using a current GPS-based navigation system.

Solution

In this disclosure an alternate way for entering a target destination is proposed.

Assumptions

This alternate way is based on the following assumptions:
For many destinations used as target of a route, the destination can uniquely
1.

be identified by an existing phone number. In other words, for the destination location, a telephone number exists which can be associated to that certain location. Examples: a hotel or restaurant, a company's headquarter, or a person having a phone device installed at his or her home.

Counter-examples (where usually no phone number exists for a target): a view point in a National Park, a particular junction of two particular roads. For these counter-examples, the method described in this article may not introduce the maximum benefit.

In most cases where a phone number exists like described in assumption 1,
2.

the phone number is known to the public. Typically, users would be able to lookup the number in a published telephone book, or with the help from a phone directory assistance service.

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