Intel POLS is a Privacy-Observant Location System that provides an easy to use, on-device localization solution for mobile application developers. The goal of POLS is to lower the barrier of entry for location-based applications on mobile devices.
Mobile applications that wanted to use location have traditionally been forced to rely on GPS or operator-based solutions, neither of which is ideal. Very few handsets today have built-in GPS and most GPS units still struggle to work well indoors or in urban canyons. Operator-based location solutions aren't very attractive because of their per-use cost and the privacy issues that come with the provider owning your location.
POLS introduces a new localization method allowing a mobile device to locate itself without any additional hardware or assistance from the cell provider. POLS uses the device's available radios to listen for the unique IDs of nearby radio beacons, such as GSM cells or WiFi access points. The location of the device can then be computed by looking up the observed IDs in a database, and estimating the current position relative to the beacons.