Skyhook Wireless

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Skyhook Wireless
Founded 2003
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people Ted Morgan, CEO & Co-Founder
Mike Shean, VP of Business Development & Co-Founder
Nick Brachet, CTO
Farshid Alizadeh, CSO
Steve Solari, COO
Jed Rice, VP of Market Development
Kipp Jones, Senior Architect
Products Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) & Loki
Services Location Based Services & Positioning Technologies
Revenue undisclosed
Website Skyhook Wireless

Skyhook Wireless (formerly known as Quarterscope) is a Boston-based company that has developed a technology for determining geographical location using Wi-Fi as the underlying reference system. Using the MAC addresses of nearby wireless access points and proprietary algorithms, WPS can determine the position of a mobile device within 20-30 meters. It provides service similar to GPS without GPS hardware and can also integrate with GPS-enabled devices to provide hybrid positioning. With sub-second time-to-first-fix, supposed 20-30 meter accuracy and near 100% availability indoors and in dense urban areas, it is very complementary to GPS.

Skyhook's database includes more than 100 million wi-fi access points and covers 70 percent of population centers in the United States and Canada.[1]

Skyhook Wireless offers Loki[2], a free 'virtual GPS' toolbar that automatically integrates a user's location with web content such as Google Maps, Fandango,, etc.

Skyhook announced a partnership to help users in geotagging their pictures.[3]

At the Macworld Conference & Expo in January 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that both the iPhone and iPod Touch will use Skyhook's WPS as the primary location engine for Google Maps and other applications.[4]

Public SDK

Skyhook offers a software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to create location-enabled applications. This uses Skyhook's software-only Wi-Fi Positioning System on the platform of their choice. The software development kit is compatible with all GPS NMEA applications, and provides excellent accuracy and confidence estimation.

The SDK supports Windows XP, Vista and Mobile, as well as Symbian OS, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms.[5]

Skyhook hacking

An article was written describing how to use the Skyhook database with an iPhone and a laptop running Linux to identify the location of a MAC address.[6]

There is also a video[7] showing how to trick Skyhook's Location Service. The user searches Google for some other router's MAC address, sets his/her laptop to broadcast that fake MAC address, and thereby fool their iPhone or iPod Touch's Location Services into thinking it's at the original router's location. This article was also published in the 2008 summer edition of the magazine 2600.

An article was written exposing the underlying protocol to query the Skyhook database for the physical location of any MAC address.[8]


See also

External links