Running watch 1

How we’re fixing GPS accuracy in wearable technology devices

If you regularly use your smartphone or running watch to record your exercise, chances are you’ve experienced the limitations of this GPS reliant technology:

  • Slow getting that initial GPS fix or instances of GPS fixes going wrong

  • Poor battery levels

  • Lost signals or positioning errors which cause incorrect data recordings and pace estimations

Our data team is looking to fix these issues by analyzing human motion data with the purpose of improving the performance of 21st century smartphones and running watches. By examining how runners move and interact with their wearable we can identify patterns of movement and use the data to improve our human motion modelling technology.

Data collection trial

Run Solihull

Supported by RunThrough, our VP People, Becky Read (pictured above), took to her local half marathon, Run Solihull, where a team of active volunteers collected and shared their motion data with us.

Becky commented: “it was incredible to see the amount of enthusiasm and level of interest we received from RunThrough athletes. By having a stand at the event, we were able to talk to fellow runners about the impact our technology can have on the accuracy of their running wearables in the future.”

We all possess unique movements and different preferences as to how we move with our smartphone, or running watch. Some walkers (or runners) prefer to hold their phone, others rely on their wrist watch, whereas others like to have their phone strapped to their bicep. So imagine if your GPS device can anticipate your movement and accurately navigate you around a run course, or on your walk-to-work. commute.


    Becky’s route captured on Strava

    Becky continues “As a running enthusiast, we rely on data sources from smartphones and wearables, including apps like Strava, to be accurate and truthful. Every second tracked determines our true position -accuracy helps us achieve those important pb's!”

    The future of wearable technology

    Being able to accurately track how a walker or runner is moving, and specifically how their phone or watch is moving, is key to enabling Supercorrelation™ and all the improvements this brings to GNSS positioning such as;

    • Boosted sensitivity;

    • Rejection of reflected signals;

    • Improved urban positioning and speed measurements

    With improved positioning comes truthful stats relating to that hard earned PB. As Becky mentioned above, every second counts!

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