Last time Glonass was mentioned here at Geeky Gadgets–a
full ten months ago–it was fairly terrible news. Alas, for launching
stuff into space is risky business. Almost a year hence, however, and
the Glonass tracking system is now live and available on your
smartphone. But wait, before you amrvel at the precision of Russian
satellite locators, here are a few important details.
Actually referring to Glonass as GPS
is innacurate. You have your GPS and then there’s the Russian
equivalent: Glonass. Like a lot of fancy tech from the former Soviet
Union, it was originally intended as a military application. But don’t worry, Glonass won’t go Modern Warfare 2 on the world yet.
The really great news is the additional 22 Russian
satellites orbiting the Earth are now feeding Qualcomm chipsets.
This means that starting next year smartphones powered by Qualcomm
chipsets are now more accurate at tracking locations. Glanoss
has predictably gone much farther in Russia, where it’s required that
smartphones be Glonass capable under penalty of import taxes. Glonass
phones are also available in Russia and there’s word that both the E.U.
and the Chinese are hard at work on their own ‘satellite
Glonass is already proven to be 50% more accurate and since it’s
Russian engineered, works best in Northern locations, which happens to
include Canada and Alaska.