Future Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches may sport Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) measurements based on a newly granted Apple patent (number 11,249,197) for “image-based techniques for stabilizing positioning estimates.”
About the patent
GNSS) is a general term describing any satellite constellation that provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services on a global or regional basis.
In the patent data, Apple says that laptops, tablets, smart phones, and wearable devices may include a GNSS receiver and one or more sensors (e.g., an accelerometer, a gyroscope such as a rate gyroscope). They can be used in conjunction with each other to estimate the position and/or orientation of the electronic device. This could be used to locate a device or person with the device.
What’s more, an augmented reality application could use one or more of the estimates for device position and/or orientation (e.g., heading), in order to integrate digital content (e.g., visual, audio and/or tactile) into images of the user’s real-world environment (e.g., as being captured by the image sensor and displayed in real-time).
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with the technical details: “A device implementing a system for estimating device location includes at least one processor configured to receive a first estimated position of the device at a first time. The at least one processor is further configured to capture, using an image sensor of the device, images during a time period defined by the first time and a second time, and determine, based on the images, a second estimated position of the device, the second estimated position being relative to the first estimated position. The at least one processor is further configured to receive a third estimated position of the device at the second time, and estimate a location of the device based on the second estimated position and the third estimated position.”