Microsoft’s latest research project is focused on the creation of a cloud-powered GPS chip that can save the battery life of mobile devices. As you already know, activating GPS on your smartphone or tablet brings out the power hog inside the device. Microsoft researchers believe that by reducing the power consumption of GPS chips, it will not only lengthen the battery life of mobile devices but it will also make room for more GPS functionalities, such as remote sensors that are low-powered and many others.
To do that, researchers reduced power consumption by offloading some of the GPS chip’s work to the cloud. The researchers also developed a new GPS system that will only collect a few milliseconds of the most crucial information from satellites. The rest of the information will be supplied by online databases to measure location. Calculations are also delegated to a remote server. Jie Liu, a Lead Researcher at Microsoft Research, says that low-power GPS systems will also make devices smarter. “Those continuous location-sensing applications have a lot of value, and today we’re not doing that,” he said.