A killer app for GPS in mobile phone?

[ru] Есть ли смысл в GPS-модуле в мобильном телефоне? Это удовольствие стоит обычно дополнительных $200. Стоит ли переплачивать за игрушку? Ведь в наших-то краях и стандартный GPS навигатор практически бесполезен...

Pocket “paperless map” concept being pushed as a variant of a “killer app” for GPS in a phone just doesn’t make it: the phone’s screen is too tiny, the battery’s too weak.

Besides these two big problems there are more at hand:

Map coverage is inadequate for remote areas – where we need GPS the most. Just get outside a major city and you’ll be in, as one commentator put it “Nothing is more frustrating than being told “you’re on your own, buddy.” Many regions of the world, e.g. Eastern Europe, are single white spot on most electronic maps.

OTOH, when you travel it’s not especially reasonable to look up your way electronically when you can ask locals (and add value to both your trip and their day by that). You do have a bigger screen at home – why did you leave it, after all.

A “paperless map” BusinessWeek article suggests:

Forget media downloads. Cell customers really want GPS and navigation features

First, cell phones made the streetcorner pay phone obsolete. Now they’re doing away with the need to ask for directions.

How bright of them to believe common people on-tour really love to keep silent.

Another proposed GPS/LBS “killer app” spins around tracking (kids, subordinates etc) and emergency.

While the first one is mostly either silly or unethical, the second is too unreliable to be useful for business or any real safety.

The satellite antenna built into a cell phone is overly constrained by size and shape to be sensitive enough. Many bigger GPS enabled PDA’s are useless in cloudy days or in high-rise canyons. What would you expect from a phone GPS?

(BTW, statistics tells that 90% of all phone calls are originating from within indoors. That suggests that people really like to use their phones while out of reach of satellites.)

For both emergency and tracking the pocket GPS start-up times are too long, provided you’ve got any reception at all. Then, when you’ll freeze for a couple of minutes in the middle of a street, people will be thinking you are playing some outdoor game. And you’d better be, as this feature is plausibly only good for fun.

Much like “paperless office”, GPS in mobile phone is a fad.

Or, have you got another idea for a killer app for it?

Would you pay $100+ to add a GPS function to your phone?

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