The Future of Cell Phones: Point, Click, Learn

Here’s a great NY Times article about how 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. or A San Francisco-based company called GeoVector is involved. This is exactly the kind of advance I have been hoping for, so that worldhistory.com, with its growing database of geocoded data, can find a way to deliver it to cell phone users. I’m looking forward to more advances in the U.S., but according to one of GeoVector’s founders, Peter Ellenby, they may be slow in coming here. (Release 1.0 interviewed him late last year.)

While I’m at it, I ought to mention two other interesting location-based services. One is Plazes.com, a German web 2.0 startup with funding, 5 employees, some traffic growth and an API. The other is Socialight, run by New York-based Kamida. It allows people to create StickyShadows, or geotagged notes, which can be viewed by others when they visit the same location later.

My favorite book about society and mobile phones is Smart Mobs. Can anyone recommend any other books about where mobile phones and location based services are heading?

3 Comments

  1. Roshan D'silva

    Hi Paul,

    I run a company that works with Cellular Service Providers across the globe in helping them build and deliver innovative services to their subscribers. We’ve done lots of work in related areas and from my experience it’s not difficult to deliver kind of services and Location based services have been around for many years and using multiple enabling technologies. The problems we’ve faced is that taking Location and delivering services that are useful to end users – typically navigation or else presence require an extra layer of granularity (height, accuracy) that present day technologies dont do well enough. Guess these are the problems we should all be working on!!

    Great blog and look forward to more thoughts on the mobile space. We’re looking to start doing business in the United States and it would be great to hear your thoughts on the state of mobile services out there.

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