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Concept: Radio navigation


Conflicts of interest about where to go and what to do are a primary challenge of group living. However, it remains unclear how consensus is achieved in stable groups with stratified social relationships. Tracking wild baboons with a high-resolution global positioning system and analyzing their movements relative to one another reveals that a process of shared decision-making governs baboon movement. Rather than preferentially following dominant individuals, baboons are more likely to follow when multiple initiators agree. When conflicts arise over the direction of movement, baboons choose one direction over the other when the angle between them is large, but they compromise if it is not. These results are consistent with models of collective motion, suggesting that democratic collective action emerging from simple rules is widespread, even in complex, socially stratified societies.

Concepts: Sociology, Navigation, Global Positioning System, Society, Baboon, Global navigation satellite system, Positioning system, Radio navigation


Real-time locating systems (RTLS, also known as real-time location systems) have become an important component of many existing ubiquitous location aware systems. While GPS (global positioning system) has been quite successful as an outdoor real-time locating solution, it fails to repeat this success indoors. A number of RTLS technologies have been used to solve indoor tracking problems. The ability to accurately track the location of assets and individuals indoors has many applications in healthcare. This paper provides a condensed primer of RTLS in healthcare, briefly covering the many options and technologies that are involved, as well as the various possible applications of RTLS in healthcare facilities and their potential benefits, including capital expenditure reduction and workflow and patient throughput improvements. The key to a successful RTLS deployment lies in picking the right RTLS option(s) and solution(s) for the application(s) or problem(s) at hand. Where this application-technology match has not been carefully thought of, any technology will be doomed to failure or to achieving less than optimal results.

Concepts: Tracking, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation, Ubiquitous computing, Real Time Location Systems, Wireless locating


Large numbers of children and adolescents in Canada, UK and USA are not getting their recommended daily dose of moderate to vigorous physical activity, and are thus more prone to obesity and its ill health effects. Exergames (video games that require physical activity to play) are rapidly gaining user acceptance, and may have the potential to increase physical activity levels among young people. Mobile exergames for GPS (global positioning system)-enabled smartphones and mini-tablets take players outdoors, in the open air, unlike console exergames, e.g., Xbox 360 Kinect exergames, which limit players to playing indoors in front of a TV set. In this paper and its companion ‘Additional file 1’, we review different examples of GPS exergames and of gamified geosocial apps and gadgets (mobile, location-aware apps and devices with social and gamification features), and briefly discuss some of the issues surrounding their use. Further research is needed to document best practices in this area, quantify the exact health and fitness benefits of GPS exergames and apps (under different settings and scenarios), and find out what is needed to improve them and the best ways to promote their adoption by the public.

Concepts: Illness, Navigation, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation, Video game console, Xbox 360, Wide Area Augmentation System


Today, runners use wearable technology such as global positioning system (GPS)-enabled sport watches to track and optimize their training activities, for example, when participating in a road race event. For this purpose, an increasing amount of low-priced, consumer-oriented wearable devices are available. However, the variety of such devices is overwhelming. It is unclear which devices are used by active, healthy citizens and whether they can provide accurate tracking results in a diverse study population. No published literature has yet assessed the dissemination of wearable technology in such a cohort and related influencing factors.

Concepts: General relativity, Navigation, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Positioning system, Speed of light, Radio navigation


We often engage in two concurrent but unrelated activities, such as driving on a quiet road while listening to the radio. When we do so, does our brain split into functionally distinct entities? To address this question, we imaged brain activity with fMRI in experienced drivers engaged in a driving simulator while listening either to global positioning system instructions (integrated task) or to a radio show (split task). We found that, compared with the integrated task, the split task was characterized by reduced multivariate functional connectivity between the driving and listening networks. Furthermore, the integrated information content of the two networks, predicting their joint dynamics above and beyond their independent dynamics, was high in the integrated task and zero in the split task. Finally, individual subjects' ability to switch between high and low information integration predicted their driving performance across integrated and split tasks. This study raises the possibility that under certain conditions of daily life, a single brain may support two independent functional streams, a “functional split brain” similar to what is observed in patients with an anatomical split.

Concepts: Scientific method, Brain, Electroencephalography, Activity, Task, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, Radio navigation


A fundamental challenge in soft-tissue surgery is that target tissue moves and deforms, becomes occluded by blood or other tissue, and is difficult to differentiate from surrounding tissue. We developed small biocompatible near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) markers with a novel fused plenoptic and NIR camera tracking system, enabling 3D tracking of tools and target tissue while overcoming blood and tissue occlusion in the uncontrolled, rapidly changing surgical environment. In this work, we present the tracking system and marker design and compare tracking accuracies to standard optical tracking methods using robotic experiments. At speeds of 1 mm/s, we observe tracking accuracies of 1.61 mm, degrading only to 1.71 mm when the markers are covered in blood and tissue.

Concepts: Surgery, Tissues, Tissue, Marker, 3D computer graphics, Tracking system, Marker pen, Radio navigation


Healthcare providers are often looking for ways to objectively monitor and improve their patients' health and fitness, especially in between patient visits. Some insurance companies are using app data as incentives to improve health and lower premiums. As more and more people start to use smartphones, they may provide a tool to help improve a patient’s health and fitness. Specifically, fitness applications or ‘apps’ on smartphones are programs that use data collected from a smartphone’s inbuilt tools such as Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, accelerometer, microphone, speaker, and camera to measure health and fitness parameters. The apps then analyze this data and summarize it, as well as devise individualized plans based on users' goals, provide frequent feedback, personalized coaching, and additional motivation by allowing milestones to be shared on social media. This paper introduces evidence that apps can better help patients reach their health and fitness goals. It then discusses what features to look for in an app, followed by an overview of popular health and fitness apps. Lastly patient scenarios with app recommendations, limitations of apps, and future research are discussed.

Concepts: Health care provider, Illness, Smartphone, Global Positioning System, IPhone, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation


Radio frequency (RF)-based indoor positioning systems (IPSs) use wireless technologies (including Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and ultra-wide band (UWB)) to estimate the location of persons in areas where no Global Positioning System (GPS) reception is available, for example in indoor stadiums or sports halls. Of the above-mentioned forms of radio frequency (RF) technology, UWB is considered one of the most accurate approaches because it can provide positioning estimates with centimeter-level accuracy. However, it is not yet known whether UWB can also offer such accurate position estimates during strenuous dynamic activities in which moves are characterized by fast changes in direction and velocity. To answer this question, this paper investigates the capabilities of UWB indoor localization systems for tracking athletes during their complex (and most of the time unpredictable) movements. To this end, we analyze the impact of on-body tag placement locations and human movement patterns on localization accuracy and communication reliability. Moreover, two localization algorithms (particle filter and Kalman filter) with different optimizations (bias removal, non-line-of-sight (NLoS) detection, and path determination) are implemented. It is shown that although the optimal choice of optimization depends on the type of movement patterns, some of the improvements can reduce the localization error by up to 31%. Overall, depending on the selected optimization and on-body tag placement, our algorithms show good results in terms of positioning accuracy, with average errors in position estimates of 20 cm. This makes UWB a suitable approach for tracking dynamic athletic activities.

Concepts: Estimation theory, Kalman filter, Bluetooth, Global Positioning System, GPS, Positioning system, Radio navigation, Ultra-wideband


Purpose Sprints and accelerations are popular performance indicators in applied sport. The methods used to define these efforts using athlete tracking technology could affect the number of efforts reported. The study aimed to determine the influence of different techniques and settings for detecting high-intensity efforts using Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Methods Velocity and acceleration data of a professional soccer match was recorded via 10-Hz GPS. Velocity data was filtered using either a median or exponential filter. Acceleration data was derived from velocity data over a 0.2 s time interval (with and without an exponential filter applied) and a 0.3 s time interval. High-speed running (≥4.17 m.s(-1)), sprint (≥7.00 m.(s-1)) and acceleration (≥2.78 m.s(-2)) efforts were then identified using minimum effort durations (0.1 to 0.9 s) to assess differences in the total number of efforts reported. Results Different velocity filtering methods resulted in small to moderate differences (Effect Size; 0.28 - 1.09) in the number of high-speed running and sprint efforts detected when minimum duration was <0.5 s and small to very large differences (ES; -5.69 - 0.26) in the number of accelerations when minimum duration was <0.7 s. There was an exponential decline in the number of all efforts as minimum duration increased, regardless of filtering method, with the largest declines in acceleration efforts. Conclusions Filtering techniques and minimum durations substantially affect the number of high-speed running, sprint and acceleration efforts detected with GPS. Changes to how high-intensity efforts are defined affect reported data. Therefore, consistency in data processing is advised.

Concepts: General relativity, Acceleration, Velocity, Global Positioning System, Filter, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation


The aim of our study was to determine if there is a role for manipulation of g force thresholds acquired via micro-technology for accurately detecting collisions in rugby union. In total, 36 players were recruited from an elite Guinness Pro12 rugby union team. Player movement profiles and collisions were acquired via individual global positioning system (GPS) micro-technology units. Players were assigned to a sub-category of positions in order to determine positional collision demands. The coding of collisions by micro-technology at g force thresholds between 2 and 5.5 g (0.5 g increments) was compared with collision coding by an expert video analyst using Bland-Altman assessments. The most appropriate g force threshold (smallest mean difference compared with video analyst coding) was lower for all forwards positions (2.5 g) than for all backs positions (3.5 g). The Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement indicated that there may be a substantial over- or underestimation of collisions coded via GPS micro-technology when using expert video analyst coding as the reference comparator. The manipulation of the g force thresholds applied to data acquired by GPS micro-technology units based on incremental thresholds of 0.5 g does not provide a reliable tool for the accurate coding of collisions in rugby union. Future research should aim to investigate smaller g force threshold increments and determine the events that cause coding of false positives.

Concepts: Momentum, Global Positioning System, Rugby union, Global navigation satellite system, Positioning system, Speed of light, Geodesy, Radio navigation