Broadcom recently announced that it has manufactured a new chip that has been specially designed for smartphones. The chip is notable because it will help accelerate the development and adoption of indoor positioning technology. The new chip will be able to record the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and/or altimeter and use the collected data to feed into indoor positioning apps.
What are the ramifications of this chip’s new capability to collect this kind of data from the smartphone? Here’s an example. If the smartphone has identified the starting point, the smartphone owner’s steps and location can be identified, right down to whether the person is walking up or down stairs (through the altimeter), the general direction of the user (through the gyroscope), and his distance he travels (thanks to the accelerometer).