Posted by Isolde Decker-Lucke
Skyhook brings advanced location technology to smart feature phone providers on a global level, providing access to location in hard-to-locate areas of the world.
Skyhook, a pioneer in the development of mobile location technology, is bringing accurate and precise location to the smart feature phone market. The volume of mobile phone shipments is once again exploding worldwide, driven in large part by the rise of low-cost “smart” feature phones aimed at emerging markets with limited internet access.
KaiOS Technologies has established itself as the provider of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones. Skyhook will now offer its hybrid positioning capabilities, including Wi-Fi and cell-based positioning, for integration with all devices running on KaiOS. This will enable device manufacturers to enhance their smart feature phones with advanced device location capabilities that can position a device in any environment.
Network-based/hybrid positioning is and has been a core pillar of functionality required in premium smartphones in more established markets for roughly 15 years. Device manufacturers that use KaiOS can now create phones with similar functionality and all associated location-based features found on premium-priced smartphones at a fraction of the price. This enables smartphone-level access for communities that had limited access previously.
Location technology has become an essential requirement for functions such as mapping and applications like weather, social media, and commerce. Skyhook’s accurate and accessible solution provides manufacturers with a drop-in location solution that can be integrated in a number of ways.
Skyhook software sets the standard for accurate location determination in connected devices. This hybrid positioning solution intelligently blends Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular signals for accurate device location in any environment, including indoors.
With its history in emergency response systems and in developing the world’s first commercial Wi-Fi based positioning service, Skyhook is uniquely positioned to help KaiOS’ OEM partners to use location-based app features or meet government-mandated emergency call location regulations.
KaiOS powers an emerging global ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, with the mission of advancing digital inclusion and closing the digital divide. Through this collaboration, users of KaiOS-enabled phones will benefit from the global reach of Skyhook location services, its accurate positioning capabilities in hard-to-detect environments, and flexible integration approach, helping to combat digital inequity.
“Skyhook is passionate about bringing location to the smart feature phone market, and we are thrilled to collaborate with KaiOS as the company accelerates the adoption of mobile technology on a global basis and in particular in the developing world,” said Craig Waggy, CEO of Skyhook. “We look forward to helping feature phone original equipment manufacturers provide location for devices worldwide.”
When OEMs or ODMs choose to work with Skyhook to power their KaiOS devices, they gain network and hybrid location-based functionality built into their phone offering. In the U.S. and Europe, KaiOS devices operating with Skyhook services will now be able to meet the mature, Mobile Network Operator regulatory requirements necessary in those regions. These regulatory requirements allow first responders to locate device users if an emergency call is placed. Through close collaboration with KaiOS, device makers, and chipset manufacturers, Skyhook can provide the location component of these end-to-end solutions, which are critical to bringing these devices to market.
“Advanced location services are the perfect addition to KaiOS’ existing suite of smartphone-level features such as high-speed internet and an app store with a great range of content,” said James Ho, CTO of KaiOS Technologies. “Together with Skyhook, we’re enabling the next generation of smart feature phone functionality, narrowing the gap to smartphones, and ultimately helping millions of the unconnected to become digitally enabled.”
Find out more about Skyhook's location offering for feature phones here, or for more personalized information, get in touch with one of our experts!