GPS: The Grandfather of IOT

GPS: The Grandfather of IOT

GPS: The Grandfather of IOT


GPS uses satellites to track the position of any object with a GPS tracking chip, including vehicles, people, and pets. It works regardless of weather conditions and provides real-time positional data. At least three satellites – positioned to be in the sky over any area at any given time – are used to triangulate the position of a tracking chip. The satellites use microwaves to collect information in three dimensions and calculate position from their intersecting spheres. These satellites update data regularly to allow the tracking of objects in motion.



Navstar is a network of U.S. satellites that provide global positioning system (GPS) services. They are used for navigation by both the military and civilians. It was founded by the United States Department of Defense in 1973 to track objects on Earth in real time. It uses 24 active satellites known as the Global Navigation Satellite System, and three backup satellites in case an active satellite fails, all on a 12-hour orbit of Earth. While GPS is mainly funded and managed by the US Department of Defense, non-military users are allowed to use its standard positioning system without fees or restrictions. GPS is invaluable to an IoT system since it quantifies and records location, speed, time, and direction.

Closer to home, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with the operational name of NAVIC  is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system, that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.The GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) is an implementation of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) by the Indian government. It is a system to improve the accuracy of a GNSS receiver by providing reference signals.  SBAS can be viewed as the first step towards introduction of modern communication, navigation, surveillance/Air Traffic Management system over Indian airspace.

GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System, and is the standard generic term for satellite navigation systems that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage. This includes GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and other regional systems.  The advantage of having access to multiple satellites is accuracy, redundancy and 24X7 availability. Though satellite systems don’t often fail, GNSS receivers can pick up signals from other systems in such an event. Access to multiple satellites is also beneficial if line of sight is obstructed.



As one of the first methods to track and catalogue digital data of the physical world, GPS has had an essential influence on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. IoT can collect and quantify large amounts of data for everything from personal health to public vehicles; GPS tracking is needed to provide location information for these objects.

GPS and IoT complement each other to form a more complete, usable set of interconnected data. IoT monitors objects and hardware to give real-time information and data about a device’s operations, while GPS provides the physical coordinates of the hardware or object. With these systems working in tandem, they form the foundation of asset tracking systems, smarter cities, innovative products such as self-driving cars and health-related wearable technologies, and a vast, interconnected ecosystem that allows for smart devices to interact with sophisticated locating capabilities to achieve goals previously thought impossible.



According to A report published by Deloitte and Nasscom, The Internet of Things (IoT) market is expected to reach $ 9 billion by 2020. By the end of 2020 more than 1.9 billion devices are expected to be connected in India which will result in 31X growth.

At the outset, IoT in Logistics offers the following benefits:

  • Optimal asset utilization
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Location and condition monitoring
  • Health and safety of connected workforce and connected citizens
  • Smart Energy management
  • Predictive asset life cycle management
  • Fleet and asset management
  • Supply chain risk management

On looking around we can find many other benefits that address present challenges. Most of these logistics needs can be addressed through IoT applications across industries. Furthermore,IoT in logistics can influence manufacturing companies adopting smart factory models where machines with sensors can plug into IOT networks for data exchange thus allowing us better control over KPIs.

eTrans Solutions is already working on a number of such solutions that we will share more information on our website and blog soon.