NowHere, Now what? Locate yourself and friends.

Self localization on non-GPS enabled mobile phones isn’t new. Google Maps Mobile does it, and the the US cell carriers Helio and Sprint have added services like Buddy Beacon or Loopt, which even let you locate your friends. Yet another service has launched in Germany called NowHere. I stumbled across an ad for their service on Facebook today and immediately tried it out.

NowHEre Screen

Continue reading NowHere, Now what? Locate yourself and friends.

The Nokia Sports Tracker

As you might heard Nokia is pushing connected location based devices and context aware Internet services. They announced Ovi in August 2007, a portal for consumers to get to and share music, games and maps.Now they have started a beta version of a sports tracking portal that extends their GPS enabled mobile phones. Funny enough, this is not integrated into Ovi but a standalone website for now. But let’s take a closer look. Continue reading The Nokia Sports Tracker

Location Bookmarking, Can It Extend to a Mobile or Offline Channel?

When visiting a foreign city on your own you probably prepare yourself by checking out a few places in advance, don’t you? You look up where your hotel is, the places you plan to visit (or the office), surrounding restaurants, bars, shopping, ATMs etc.
At least that is what I did when I was traveling on business to Chicago just recently. I’m much more comfortable while traveling when I explore the destination a little bit in advance.

So what I did was bookmarking or “map-marking” a couple of places on an online map. Continue reading Location Bookmarking, Can It Extend to a Mobile or Offline Channel?

Minimap Sidebar – A Must Have Firefox Add-on

The Firefox Minimap Sidebar is a handy little thing. It allows you to very quickly locate any address on a map in a sidebar window of your browser.

It’s an easy Firefox add-on install and once the Minimap Sidebar is open, simply highlight an address you found on a website and drag and drop the address from the website into the Minimap Sidebar’s drop box. And voilà, the location is displayed on a Google Map.

It doesn’t stop there though. Addresses are listed in the box for later use. These can then be used for driving directions by selecting them from a drop down. You can also set a home address and start routing to and from there. The choice is yours whether you prefer Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps or Microsoft’s Live Local.
And last but not least you can also share the location by getting its coordinates, a link to the map page, e-mail the link or even get an embed code for your own site – and all that straight from a right-click context menu.
KML and GeoRSS are also supported and of course you can also manually type in an address. Once an address is located you can browse places with Tagzania, Platial, or Loc.alize.us flickr photos.

The Minimap Sidebar is developed by Tony Farndon. Go visit his site at http://firefox.spatialviews.com/ where you’ll find the download link as well.

Continue reading Minimap Sidebar – A Must Have Firefox Add-on

Is Mobile Local Search Meeting Consumers Expectations?

In the past few weeks I’ve looked at a couple of different local search services. After BMW announced last week that Google Local Search is now available from the latest BMW onboard navigation system it is about time to share some thoughts with you. I also have to admit writing this post has been fueled by a discussion about whether Yellow Pages are of any use these days or just a waste of paper. Even Seth Godin, has posted on his blog about the possibilities and opportunities of putting the “Yellow Pages in your Pocket
So besides BMW, let’s have a look at two mobile product/shop finders and how to choose a proper pub in Japan.

Continue reading Is Mobile Local Search Meeting Consumers Expectations?

Can NFC be an alternative to GPS for mobile phones?

NFC, short for Near Field Communication is a technology that enables the communication between devices over a short distance (ca. 0-8 inches), using magnetic field induction. The technology is primarily aimed at usage in mobile phones.

Now why do I think this can be alternative to GPS? Because I’m a dreamer!
So here is what I was thinking:
With NFC you can transfer location coordinates from a transponder to a phone. As it works without the need for satellite reception it is perfect for urban street canyons or indoor use like subways, shopping malls, or conference centers. Yes, because of the short range there is a downside which is the need for tagging street corners or building corridors with transponders. And yes, NFC is still in its infancy. So let’s look at a field test I was able to sneak myself in – and my experiences so far. Continue reading Can NFC be an alternative to GPS for mobile phones?

NYC Taxis Feature New Technologies

An interesting article found its way into inbox this morning. The article was written by Sean, who is blogging “From the Digital Frontier” on MediaPost.

NYC Taxi He was late the other day and took a cab to ride to work. What he encountered when he got in the cab was a small entertainment system displaying news, weather and clips.
How neat, I though … but then I took a closer look at the photo he took of the system’s screen. Continue reading NYC Taxis Feature New Technologies