There are three things that have been preventing most people from jumping on the geotagging craze with their picture-taking, and the NXP SnapShot GPS chip addresses them all.
First, current GPS units are too large and it’s not exactly fun having to lug such a huge device around just to get geotagged information. The SnapShot chip will be just 5mm square when it hits production.
Second, they tend to be too power hungry, ripping through your battery faster than you’d like. The SnapShot gives you one year of operation on a single lithium watch battery. This is because all it does is “wake up for a tenth of second” when a picture is being taken, downloading the raw GPS data to be processed later. Other GPS devices do the processing on the spot and that is why they are such battery hogs.
Third, geotagging can be expensive. By contrast, the SnapShot chip is expected to be remarkably cheap at just $2-$4 “when built into existing devices in bulk.”
All of this sounds a little too good to be true, so the NXP SnapShot GPS chip could very well be vaporware. I hope it’s not, though.