Blue Sky Positioning has developed a complete GPS system, including antenna, which fits into and works from within a mobile phone SIM card slot, according to The Register.
GPS systems have been getting increasingly small as technology progresses, but fitting one onto a SIM card represents a distinct technological leap.
Handsets that support JSR177 or those that use open operating systems such as Windows Mobile and Symbian will be able to support full mapping, location, and route-planning capabilities already established in dedicated GPS devices.
"We are only allowed [by the GSM SIM standard] to draw six milliamps, which was a challenge,” BlueSky Positioning CEO Risto Savolainen said. "Most antennas are designed in free space, to have nothing around them. We started out knowing that there would be metal all around us. That’s our secret – how the antenna works, but when we take away the battery, take the SIM out of the phone, the signal is no longer there."
Blue Sky Positioning says it’s already got prototypes and is working with SIM manufacturers to begin rolling out product, which is expected to happen by July.