RIM has announced the availability of their Wi-Fi geolocation service. This is an in-house technology built by RIM that allows for geolocation via Wi-Fi instead of satellites used by GPS. The way it works is that it anonymously collects data from your BlackBerry from wireless access points that it has associated its self with. In return location-aware applications like foursquare, and Google maps can quickly fix your location.
Wi-Fi geolocation is different than GPS. Wi-Fi geolocation is quicker, and more secure as it utilizes cached data from your BlackBerry. Another plus to Wi-Fi geolocation is that it tends to work when GPS is not available. There are times when GPS is not available, but you may find that you do have Wi-Fi. One caveat is that its accuracy lower than traditional GPS, but the trade off seems to be in its speed.
This is an interesting development in the the world of location-aware applications. Looks like we will be seeing even faster location fixes, and better battery life within those apps that we love.
What are your thoughts on this new technology? Let us know in the forums.