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Skyhook teams up with Texas Instruments

Skyhook's hybrid Wi-Fi/GPS location technology will soon be used in Texas Instruments chips for mobile devices to get more accurate location information.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
2 min read

BARCELONA - Skyhook Wireless announced on Monday at the GSMA Mobile World Congress here that Texas Instruments will use its hybrid positioning technology in its mobile chips, so that cell phones can provide more accurate location information.

Skyhook has developed a hybrid technology that uses GPS satellite technology and Wi-Fi to help provide geolocation services. Skyhook's technology is used today on Apple's iPhone, among other services and devices.

The way it works is that Skyhook will use Wi-Fi access points to triangulate and get a fix on known Wi-Fi hot spots. The company has a database of where Wi-Fi hot spots all over the country are located. Specifically, it uses the Mac address, a unique identifier that every piece of hardware on the Internet must have, to identify the router, and it matches that identifier with the location. Using multiple signals in the same geographic location, the Skyhook technology is able to pinpoint a location.

The company has also integrated GPS into its technology, so that it can be used to get an even more accurate location-fix on phones that have GPS receivers. GPS allows Skyhook to cover more ground with its geolocation technology. And it also provides location information more quickly than GPS alone. Because GPS uses three or four low-orbiting satellites to pinpoint a location, it can take a few seconds before it's able to calculate a location. Skyhook's Wi-Fi technology can get location information much faster.

The Skyhook XPS hybrid software will be used in TI's current and future NaviLin 6.0 and WiLink 6.0 solutions.