Wearables become less dependent on smartphones

Good news for people who are irritated by the fact that your fitness bracelet or -tracker is so dependent on a smartphone. The problem in wearable devices is that they are very small. If you want to put all kinds of chips in it to measure the location, there’s hardly any room for that. And the small battery is often not feasible to build good location sensors, such as a GPS chip. Skyhook Wireless thinks that they have the solution. They have for years been engaged in location technology; initially for smartphones and now for wearables.

Fitbit Alta woman

Skyhook has worked for companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Dell. The software kit (SDK) which they released, manufacturers of wearables can easily add location features without a smartphone or tablet is required. Manufacturers can immediately incorporate the solution into the system software of the wearable. The software then sends the location to the Skyhook servers and via an app or website, you can then retrieve the data.

Oops, privacy

This also means that your location is recorded somewhere on an America server – something you might prefer not to. David Bairstow from Skyhook promises however that users have adequate control over their location data and that it is possible to completely disable the location feature. But still … if a third party supplies the software to capture your location, it is not always clear who you should ask to be able to authorize and revoke the permission.

One of the first partners to get started with Skyhook’s location function is not engaged in fitness, but with life logging, continuous capturing of all the things you do. It’s Narrative, the manufacturer of a portable camera that lets you quickly determine the location of a photo or video.

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