Vodafone has announced a deal with TomTom to develop a co-branded product for avoiding traffic jams, just as Telmap launches version 3 of its software, with the needs of the pedestrian in mind. With less than half a dozen GPS-equipped handsets on sale in the UK we're clearly in the very early stages of any location-based …
We'll get there...
It seems to be that location-based applications for mobiles are a "killer app". We might need to see a device like iPhone v2 to spur the market on.
There's obviously a use for "what's my nearest...", but also think of the potential for social networking combined with location... Your phone could tell you when a friend is nearby, or when you're close to a friend's house, or let you see places recommended by other people nearby etc etc...
The network already 'knows' where you are by triangulation from the nearest base station(s). In open country this may only have a precision of a few km (plenty good enough to identify the nearest restaurant or filling station), but in a city it should be almost as accurate as GPS.
...is that I'm not going to upgrade my phone, until one is available like my current one (w800i) with GPS and mapping capability. i.e a combined camera, walkman, satnav (I may take a hit on real-time traffic advice), oh - and phone.
Speaking around the office, I'm not alone. The biggest incentive is the merging of the satnav and phone. All our sales guys have a standing order not to leave the satnav in the car EVER. (a driver who delivers to us had his satnav swiped when he went to the back of the cab to get a parcel for our receptionist). They already carry their phone everywhere, so it makes sense to put the satnav into that.
TomTom - Vodafone
From what I remember from white paper I saw a few month ago the Vodafone-TomTom plan is:
1) Vodafone gather traffic information using cell info (ie: If xx% of the customer move from cell A to cell B at 40mph when can assume speed on that motorway stretch is 40mph).
2) Vodafone centralise those data
3) TomTom download the info by GPRS/3G and recalculate routing to avoid traffic.
Nokia N95 ?
Okay .. the battery drain is quick - but if your using it in the car with a charger - the soloutions already there... and I was suprised to say it actually works!
I use it for all of the above functions and aside the rare (since update v rare) crashing, im quite pleased with it !
As far as I understand it, this service will use information on cell-handovers as Vodafone users travel between mobile cells in order to determine the likely congestion along routes, so it may not even use any additional GPS handset capabilities other than those already provided by TomTom.
Re: My ha'path...
Google a freeware Java App called Amaze. Download and install on your W800. Pick up a cheap modern bluetooth GPS receiver from eBay.
Works a treat on my W850i.
Thank The Hippy :D
Cheers for that, www.amAzegps.com - what a treat, I've already got a BT GPS for my ipaq.
What a shame my N80 went for a swim over the weekend robbing it of a backlight and any form of battery life :(
Location Based Reminders
I think the killer app for me with location based services would be location based reminders.
It's all very well setting a reminder to buy some milk, but if the phone reminded you when you were just passing the shops on your way home it would prevent so many turn around and go back out trips.
Triangulation from the mobile phone base stations can't do this with the same accuracy.
One thing TomTom should do is allow the devices (i have a go 710) to provide coordinates back to the mobile phone it is connected (via bluetooth), so the phone can use them in services such as Windows Live Search &* obile Maps