A week at the Villa Serebelloni in Bellagio, Italy does lead to excellent ideas. One that I wanted to put out on the internet as soon as possible is to use GPS as a signalling system.
Most smartphones now come equipped with GPS, to support applications like Google Maps and Open Street Map.
It would be interesting to see if GPS can be used as a signalling system, with GPS on=1 and GPS off=0.
This would be particularly useful for disaster situations or for personal emergencies. Since GPS is usually always available irrespective of WiFi or GSM or other provider network, it seems like the most reliable place to look.
Maybe Google Latitude can include an “Emergency Ping” over GPS, where if they receive a particular pattern of bits from the GPS on/off method, they send an email alert to all the persons friends on Latitude. Now THAT is a Google service I would probably be willing to see ads in order to have.
This needs to be technically validated though, so will add detail to this post and if anyone else wants to validate or implement and talk about it…here’s a good place to start!