How Your Phone Could Pinpoint Your Location Down to a Single Stairstep

Knowing exactly where you are on the face of the earth gives your smartphone wonderful location-specific capabilities. But GPS can only tell you what building you're in, not where you are in the structure. So STMicroelectronics has developed an advanced pressure sensing chip that can determine your vertical elevation down to what floor you're standing on—or even what step of what staircase. The innovation is as awesome as it is creepy.

Location-based services are becoming more and more prevalent in the smartphone market, and ST's LPS331AP chip could let shoppers receive targeted coupons or advertisements for whatever store they're in, on whatever floor of a shopping mall.

In fact, the tiny 3 x 3-millimeter chip can accurately measure vertical elevation from 1,800 meters below sea level, to a height of about ten kilometers. That's higher than the summit of Mount Everest. So no matter where you're using your device—outside of flying—it should be able to pinpoint exactly where you are.

That's a good thing, right?

[STMicroelectronics via Fareastgizmos]