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New microchip knows where you are -- exactly where you are

Friday - 4/13/2012, 4:19am  ET

smartphone.jpg
Your phone may soon have the ability to know where you are, wherever you are, down to the centimeter. (Courtesy of the University of Michigan)

WASHINGTON - A new smartphone technology may be able to pinpoint a location to the centimeter.

Broadcom says it's developed the chip that, according to a Technology Review report, uses everything from GPS signals, Wi-Fi hot spots and cell towers to determine exactly where a person is (as long as they have their phone on them).

Technology Review reports the chip utilizes sensors that can receive a wide array of signals from GPS, Wi-Fi hot spots and cell towers. It's possible the chip could determine what floor a person is on inside of a building.

Broadcom calls this "ubiquitous navigation." The feature is touted as a new type of e-commerce. In theory, retailers could know exactly when customers walk through the front door of a store and, if they're looking for a specific item, immediately send them a coupon.

WTOP's Mitchell Miller contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)