Zephr, a leading developer of next-generation GPS technologies, has announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Space Capital and First Spark Ventures as it officially launches a groundbreaking "networked GPS" solution to dramatically improve GPS accuracy and reliability, creating new economic opportunities for many current and emerging industries. The new funding will support Zephr's GTM strategy as the company gears up for rapid growth over the next year.
Zephr's goal is simple: to make GPS more accurate and consistent for everyone. The company's pioneering approach uses a computationally networked solution to significantly enhance GPS accuracy for mobile devices (not survey grade GPS) - achieving a remarkable average accuracy of sub-60cm for mobile phones, which is typically not seen in consumer GPS solutions.
Zephr will also be able to increase accuracy in dense urban environments, where building bounce and blocked line-of-sight create challenges for GPS. Critically, Zephr delivers its GPS augmentation without the need for hardware changes to the device. As a standalone SDK, Zephr's solution is purely software-based, as opposed to traditional solutions which require a new chipset or firmware. This allows billions of existing mobile devices to easily upgrade their GPS accuracy directly out of the box.
"GPS is an essential technology for so many services we now rely on, and yet it is plagued by inaccuracy. This poses many challenges for businesses and consumers, and it will hamper the growth of developing technologies like augmented reality and autonomy," said Sean Gorman, PhD, CEO of Zephr.
"Improved accuracy in GPS can translate into millions of dollars in economic benefit, but for us, it's about more than just money. A more accurate GPS system can also improve daily routines and personal safety, from preventing navigational errors to creating safer collision avoidance systems in vehicles and enabling more advanced search-and-rescue efforts."
"Next-gen GPS is critical for the global economy and it will power a new wave of technology applications in the coming years," said Chad Anderson, Founder and Managing Partner of Space Capital. "Zephr's approach is truly unique and it has the potential to become an integral technology in the next phase of GPS. We are excited to partner with them and we have high expectations for the company."
Addressing a Critical Gap in GPS Technology
In spite of growing demands, consumer GPS technology (used by mobile devices, wearables, etc.) hasn't experienced a meaningful update since 2000 and it remains prone to errors, low accuracy and reliability problems.
Zephr's patent-pending technology solves these problems through a multi-receiver system - by turning users' mobile devices into base stations which generate ensemble error corrections to significantly improve GPS accuracy, down to an average result of sub-60cm. Through interconnected GNSS (global navigation satellite system) measurements across multiple devices, Zephr's networked GPS system eliminates common errors and inaccuracies, while also guaranteeing a highly stable and reliable signal that is at less risk of interference.
Zephr's more precise and consistent GPS solution can significantly improve cost savings and revenue opportunities for a wide range of industries, including navigation, delivery/logistics, rideshare, auto insurance, agriculture, advertising, location-based apps and more. It also enables new/emerging fields, such as autonomy (from vehicles to robotics and drone-based delivery systems), augmented reality, location-base
d gaming and smart cities.
The company's GPS technology has undergone extensive testing, using simulation software by SRI International and exhaustive field testing with real smartphones under difficult conditions. "SRI's investment and technical collaboration with Zephr is a natural extension of our deep experience in position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technologies," said Ryan Lewis, Partner at SRI Ventures. "Zephr's software-first solution enabled them to quickly iterate and troubleshoot during the test and evaluation phase of our work program. Their performance and time-to-market has exceeded our expectations."
Artificial Intelligence Analysis
Zephr, a leading developer of next generation GPS technologies, is launching a groundbreaking "networked GPS" solution to dramatically improve GPS accuracy and reliability, creating new economic opportunities for many current and emerging industries. Current State-of-the-Art and its Limitations:
Currently, consumer GPS solutions typically do not achieve an average accuracy of below 60cm for mobile phones. GPS accuracy is also significantly reduced in dense urban environments due to building bounce and blocked line of sight. Whats New in the Approach and Why it Will Succeed:
Zephrs approach uses a computationally networked solution to significantly enhance GPS accuracy for mobile devices, achieving an average accuracy of sub 60cm for mobile phones. It also increases accuracy in dense urban environments, and is a purely software-based solution, allowing billions of existing mobile devices to upgrade their GPS accuracy directly out of the box.
Target Audience and Impact:
The target audience is businesses and consumers who rely on GPS services, such as augmented reality and autonomy. The impact if successful is increased accuracy in GPS, which can translate into millions of dollars in economic benefit, and can also improve daily routines and personal safety.
The risks involved are technical challenges associated with implementing the networked GPS solution, and the cost of pursuing the approach.
Cost of Pursuing the Approach:
The cost of pursuing the approach is $3.5 million, which Zephr has secured in seed funding from Space Capital and First Spark Ventures.Timeline for Achieving Results: