Future Directions, Technologies, Standards and Applications

June 16-17, 2008
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Rd
Worcester, MA, USA



Invitation Letter*

In the last year, location technologies emerged as a core element in mobile devices and applications. Average consumers are using GPS, Wi-Fi positioning, and cell tower triangulation for everyday navigation and mainstream applications such as local search and social networking. The days when government and industry were the predominant users of positioning technologies are long over. This expansion in the use of positioning technologies has created new challenges. Service providers and device makers have learned that average consumers expect performance standards different from those of traditional users. They want an immediate, precise, and reliable location fix and constant availability, regardless of the environment.  Furthermore, all of these capabilities should come pre-loaded along with user friendly applications.

As a reflection of this growing interest and the evolution of performance expectations, there has been global interest in rethinking the role of localization for next generation wireless devices to meet the needs of the 21st century. A vital part of this effort concerns fostering collaboration and consensus-building among researchers, manufacturers, and service providers working on a variety of localization techniques and applications.   The main question at the outset is, “What new technologies must be developed to better address the needs of the mobile mass market?” In addition to traditional GPS satellites there are hundreds of millions of IEEE 802.11 WLAN access points, tens of thousands of cell towers, and numerous broadcasting towers for radio and TV services, which can be exploited opportunistically to locate terminals in a variety of outdoor situations and indoor environments. The differences between the bandwidth, coverage, localization algorithms, density and geographical distribution of these RF sources provide an opportunity for a number of new hybrid technologies.

WPI, a respected leader in wireless networking and localization research, is hosting this new invitational workshop to gather a unique mix of top researchers in positioning systems from the private sector and academia as well as business leaders and application engineers.  Participants will discuss performance measurements of existing location systems, explore the current standards and how they might be modified, as well as prevailing business models and emerging novel applications. The objective of the workshop is to define a vision for ubiquitous localization and to discuss how we should shape our industry to meet this vision.

* To preserve workshop atmosphere, the seats are limited and attendance is only by invitation.