Caltech Laser Accelerometer Research May Bring Fine-Tuned Position Tracking
Posted October 20, 2012 6:07 PM
One way that sensors can track your position without using an array of satellites
is by measuring your acceleration as you move around -- but unless
you're piloting a jumbo jet, current devices aren't very accurate.
Researchers at Caltech
hope to change all that with a new, ultra-sensitive accelerometer they
developed, which uses laser light to detect motion changes. The
scientists managed to shrink a so-called large-scale interferometer down
to micro-scale sizes, creating a device "thousands of times faster than
the most sensitive sensors used today." That could allow a smartphone
with such a micro-sensor to detect your exact position even while inside
a grocery store, and flash "ads and coupons for hot dog buns" while
you're in the bread aisle, according to Caltech. All that sounds good,
but we can perhaps think of more inspiring uses for the new tech.