Jul 17, 2012
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Soon your smartphone will not only know where you are and where you’ve been, it will also predict where you’re going — before you’re even there. Researchers in the U.K. have developed an algorithm (leveraging GPS and A-GPS technology),that follows and predicts your mobility patterns.
It works like this: by factoring in your travel patterns and those of your friends, the algorithm can guess where you’re going. For example, based on your habits, your phone will know you’re likely to visit Taco Bell on your way home from the mall—a Sunday tradition.
If consumers accept it, the tech will provide a more customized user experience with highly accurate recommendations before a person even sets off for a destination. For example, your phone might recommend a new hot sauce shop that just opened up near your favorite T-Bell -- before you’ve committed to “thinking outside the bun.”
The algorithm was based on a study of 200 willing participants, and was, on average, less than 20 meters (or just over 65 feet) off when it predicted where any given person would be 24 hours later. The average error was 1,000 meters when the same system tried to predict a person's direction using only that person's past movements and not also those of his friends.
A developer platform is already in the works according to Mirco Musolesi, a computer scientist at the University of Birmingham, who led the study.