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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mobile Phones & Location Based Services

Japanese cell phone users are able to point their specialized phones at buildings and monuments and get information about the location. More than 700,000 locations have information or advertisements associated with them already. The NYTimes writes, "If you stand on a street corner in Tokyo today you can point a specialized cellphone at a hotel, a restaurant or a historical monument, and with the press of a button the phone will display information from the Internet describing the object you are looking at". The new service is made possible by the efforts of three Japanese companies and GeoVector, a small American technology firm, and it represents a missing link between cyberspace and the physical world. The phones combine satellite-based navigation, precise to within 30 feet or less, with an electronic compass to provide a new dimension of orientation. Connect the device to the Internet and it is possible to overlay the point-and-click simplicity of a computer screen on top of the real world. The Japanese use the GPS for finding precise locations unlike the practice in other parts of the world offering similar service where the difference in accuracy could be 100 yards or more. What next : putting location-based information on cellphones would be a logical step for search engine companies and potentially look for ways to increase advertising revenues. Microsoft has already moved into the cellular handset realm with its Windows Mobile software, and Google is rumored to be working on a Google phone.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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