October 23, 2005
It’s always a sign that a particular industry or technology is inching towards the mainstream when Advertising businesses begin to fire off patent applications and start comparing themselves to Google.
Founded in 2004, Florida based Ringo recently announced that they have filed a patent application for what they refer to as “Cost-by-radius” advertising. The system operates by location-enabling Taxis and using these vehicles to broadcast advertisements to passengers based upon where they are. The Taxis are fitted out with screens and printers that can deliver tailored advertisements and redemption coupons.
Ringo’s customers will pay according to the radius of coverage, i.e. the closer a potential consumer is to your business, the higher the cost of delivering your advertising to them will be.
Coming to an IPO near you!
October 22, 2005
UK-based techno gossip website, The Register, recently reported the upcoming release of what I believe will be a category killer mobile device from the current Kings of navigational gadgets, MiTAC International corp.
Take a look at the mio a701 smartphone in all its glory.
As I wipe the drool off the keyboard, I think to myself what a great little mobile phone this is. It comes with in-built GPS receiver, Bluetooth, tri-band GSM and an SD slot so that you can fit that little SD WiFi card you’ve always wanted, making this one of the best products created since the Belgian monks first decided to brew beer. On top of that it will ship with Microsoft’s latest Windows Mobile 5.0.
Just think of all the cool LBS applications this toy will make possible! If you can’t wait for this to be released, perhaps you would like one of MiTAC’s current gadgets at www.miogps.com
Update 15/02/2006: Unfortunately SanDisk have recently discontinued their combo Wi-Fi / 256 Mb flash memory SD card due to repeatedly high field failure rates. At this stage there are no alternative manufacturers of a similar combo type product *sigh*.
For those not yet aware of the technology that is playing an increasingly important role in expanding the globally ‘connected’ community and shrinking the distance between all of us, the term Location Based Services (LBS) describes the instantaneous delivery of information, to and from people or devices, based on their geographical location.
Enabled by the integration of various complementary technologies (e.g. GPS – global positioning system receivers, Mobile phones & networks, Wireless computer-based networks, digital street maps), LBS are intended to allow you to send and receive information on-demand based on where you are on this planet (or where you want to be). Don’t worry too much about the technical terms just yet, there are plenty of articles for you to explore on this site to gain a better understanding of these over time.
For now, however, as a practical example of one form of LBS, think of the many online street directory websites in which you can type a starting location and a destination. These sites are built upon a digital version of the same street directory most of you have in the back seat of your cars. With a few key strokes you are able to get turn-by-turn instructions on how to get from A to B.
Take that up a level and now imagine that instead of typing in your current location, your computer already knows this. Your computer (or mobile phone / PDA / whatever little electronic toy you like to carry in your pocket) has either a GPS receiver, Wireless network card or mobile phone built into-it.
By various means and with varying levels of accuracy, each of these devices can approximate your latitute and longitude. Your location can then be cross-referenced with a digital street directory and voila! You now have access to a whole new world of information of relevance to where you are. Little do you know it, but now that your handy piece of electronic wizardry can find you, it can also help you to download information on all sorts of topics relating to where you are or where you want to explore. Even better, it allows you to communicate and collaborate with other people based on their location as well.
Think – “Where is the nearest toilet, I’m busting!?” or “Where the hell are you, Johnny?”
Let’s not get too far just yet into the issues you are no doubt considering about privacy.
“That’s scary! I don’t want people to know where I am all the time.”
Rest assured that, as with your Internet access right now, you CAN protect your privacy (contrary to a lot of scare mongers out there). Just because your faithful electronic friend knows where you are doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone else.
Its just yours and gizmo’s secret. If you want it to be.
Ok, now let’s move on and explore some of the impressive developments in this emerging community. Follow the links to the right of this page to explore the world of Location Based Services.