Patent application serial number 697589 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to positioning and/or mapping, and in particular, to facilitating positioning and/or mapping through the use of previously stored sensor information.
"Wireless functionality continues to proliferate in modern society. User demand has driven developers to not only create new wireless-enabled apparatuses, but also to implement wireless functionality in existing applications that did not originally provide this ability. Further, the advent of flexible platforms has increased the product offering, and likewise, has increased user demand. Wireless functionality is no longer limited to audible communication (e.g., voice), but may be implemented in support of various applications that require the conveyance of data.
"At least one communication-related application currently being offered in various forms is electronic positioning. Basic electronic positioning may provide the current location of an apparatus in terms of coordinates, in relation to visual presentation (e.g., map), etc. However, the means by which the raw positioning information is obtained may vary. Apparatus offerings may include the incorporation of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers for obtaining the electronic positioning information from satellites. Further, long range wireless communication systems (e.g., cellular) may also provide electronic positioning information through methods such as cell-based triangulation, etc., while short-range wireless systems may be able to provide similar information through determination of proximity to a particular wireless access point, etc.
"Electronic positioning in the out-of-doors may provide adequate performance for users because, in addition to electronic positioning information being readily available for quick position resolution, frequently updated maps may be available for most populated regions. The same conditions do not exist within structures (e.g., buildings). Map information that is specific to structure interiors may not be available, and the map information that is available may be too general (e.g., inaccurate). Moreover, global positioning signals do not propagate well indoors, and any positioning signals that are not blocked from entering a structure may not be dependable based on the prevalence of interference sources within structures. As a result, the performance of known positioning and/or mapping systems when implemented within structures may be very slow, if even functional at all, and may lack the accuracy required to be effective."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Example embodiments of the present invention may be directed to methods, computer program products, apparatuses and systems for enhancing the provision of location information based on previously stored visual data. Apparatuses may utilize sensors to sense at least visual information at a location. The sensed visual information may include attributes that may be defined as one or more visual elements in the recorded visual information. The one or more visual elements may then be stored in a mapping database in association with the location.
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