The technology behind location aware information is simple, the GPS is linked to a system that automatically loads various media according to the application when a certain location is reached by the user. It was possible to build a simple system a few years ago using ArcPad on a PDA, however with an external GPS and short battery life it was not all that practical.
The YouTube video below details the on-going work into context awareness at The Human Communication and Interaction Research Group (HCI-RG),Department of Computer Science of the University of Oviedo:
Although a simple concept and one made possible by the recent advances in technology, the results are impressive. Being able to load information onto a portable device, such as the Nokia N95, linked to a mapping application would create a useful tourist information system.
If these devices are further linked to the ever ‘launching soon’ portable eye displays then you begin to approach augmented reality in cities – which of course needs to be location aware.
The next few years will see more and more devices launching with integrated GPS units and with these we expect to see a lot more location aware services.