Intel researchers tread the same group as Skyhook: An Intel Labs researcher discussed the limits of GPS in urban areas--downtown crystal canyons, he called them--and how Wi-Fi might substitute. Skyhook already offers a commercial Wi-Fi database (both a local, updatable one and remote one for handhelds) that offers this match-up. Intel's work seems more like basic research on user behavior and appears focused on handhelds.
Why carry around something that produces a constant set of coordinates? Think about a future in which everything you carry has the option to include coordinates in metadata: a camera stamps the location, a laptop records where you were when you viewed a page, a browser sends (with your approval) coordinates to a Web site which offers customized information without you having to enter a Zip code or other details.