SAN JOSE, CA and BOSTON /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SiRF Technology Holdings Inc., a leading provider of GPS-enabled silicon and premium software location platforms, and Skyhook Wireless Inc., provider of the Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), announced that SiRF has licensed the WPS to create a single positioning system for wireless carriers that combines the best of both GPS and WiFi technologies. The system, which is scheduled for release as part of SiRF's Multimode Location Platform later this year, promises to boost the availability and adoption of location-based services. The two companies will present a demonstration of the new hybrid GPS-WiFi location technology at the 3GSM World Congress 2007 being held February 12-15 in Barcelona, Spain.
The technology will be applied to special client software from SiRF for mobile handsets that synthesizes GPS and WiFi measurements, as well as to SiRF's SiRFLoc Server to enable it to establish precise positioning from these measurements. As handset makers roll out a new generation of WiFi-enabled mobile phones to enhance both data and voice communications, the SiRF-Skyhook hybrid technology will leverage this hardware ecosystem to provide greatly enhanced positioning availability and accuracy for location-based services. Using this new technology, carriers can boost their revenues by offering enhanced location-based services that are easier to use; handset makers can better differentiate their products; and application developers can create exciting new services that work anywhere, even when GPS signals are not present. The system will benefit consumers by enabling them to more quickly and reliably perform tasks such as planning a trip, finding friends nearby, or locating the closest ATM machine.
"Our strategy is to enhance consumer experience with location-enabled content and services by combining multiple sensors and signals to provide accurate location information everywhere. This is the first time a single positioning system has combined both GPS and WiFi location data to get us a step closer to achieving 100% availability of accurate positioning," said Kanwar Chadha, co-founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF. "By complementing our industry-leading GPS performance with Skyhook's WiFi positioning in our Multimode Location Platform, SiRF is continuing to broaden its product line and pursue its mission to bring the benefits of location awareness to mainstream consumers."
SiRF will be offering the new technology to mobile handset makers using SiRF's SiRFstarIII and GSCi-5000 chips sets, as well as to wireless carriers using its SiRFLoc Server, a carrier-class, standards-compliant, multimode assisted-GPS location server that incorporates SiRF's patented multimode technology. Any SiRF-based mobile handset with a WiFi radio subsystem built in will be able to take advantage of the new technology by including the client software.
"This partnership creates an availability breakthrough for location-based services, offering handset makers and carriers a new hybrid GPS-WiFi technology for anytime, anywhere location reliability," said Ted Morgan, founder and CEO of Skyhook Wireless. "WiFi and GPS are ideal complementary technologies for mobile handsets, enabling a more comprehensive location solution and a more robust infrastructure for exciting new location-based applications."
About Skyhook Wireless
Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the "first-ever" metro-area positioning system that leverages WiFi rather than satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. The Skyhook Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location, and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. WPS serves over 70% of the U.S. population and is expanding internationally. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA, and is privately held. Investors include Bain Capital and Intel Capital. For more information, visit the company's Web site, send email to [email protected], or call 617-314-9802.
About SiRF Technology Holdings Inc.
SiRF Technology Holdings Inc. develops and markets semiconductor and software products designed to enable location-awareness using GPS and other location technologies, enhanced by wireless connectivity capabilities, such as Bluetooth, for high-volume mobile consumer devices and commercial applications. SiRF's technology has been integrated into mobile consumer devices, such as automobile navigation systems, mobile phones, PDAs, and GPS-based peripherals and handheld GPS navigation devices, and into commercial applications, such as location servers, asset-tracking devices, and fleet-management systems. SiRF markets and sells its products in three target platforms: wireless handheld devices, such as mobile phones; automotive electronics systems, including navigation and telematics systems; and consumer and compute devices, including personal digital assistants, notebook computers, recreational GPS handhelds, mobile gaming machines, digital cameras, and watches. Founded in 1995, SiRF is headquartered in San Jose, CA, and has sales offices, design centers, and research facilities around the world. Additional information about SiRF and its location technology solutions can be found on the company's Web site.