TomTom apologized for supplying driving data collected from customers to police to use in catching speeding motorists. The data, including historical speed, has been sold to local and regional governments in the Netherlands to help police set speed traps. As more smartphones offer GPS navigation service, TomTom has been forced to compensate for declining profit by increasing sales in other areas, including the selling of traffic data, Dutch newspaper AD reported.
Now, TomTom apologised, saying it sold the data believing it would improve traffic safety and reduce bottlenecks, The Associated Press reported. “We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it,” Chief Executive Harold Goddijn wrote in an email sent to customers. He added that licensing agreements in the future would “prevent this type of use in the future.”
ESRI signed an agreement with NAVTEQ to provide worldwide map data on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Data Appliance. According to Esri’s press statement, this is useful for organisations that depend on up-to-date, high-quality basemap data for routing and other location-finding tasks.
Indian telecom policy to emphasise on LBS
The government is studying the feasibility of giving value added service (VAS) providers access to information related to the location of a cellphone as a part of the National Telecom Policy 2011. “Location-based service (LBS) is going to be part of content enablement under National Telecom Policy. It is important for VAS and everybody knows that VAS is going to be name of the game,” according to R Chandrashekhar, secretary, Department of Telecommunications. Once given a go ahead, the service has the potential to locate lost cellphones, tracking people anywhere in the country, by simply feeding the mobile number in a web application even if the handset is not GPS enabled. The content enablement provision of NTP 2011, lays down the guidelines for VAS service providers for providing all kind of content over mobile phones like MMS, SMS, Alerts. The government is, however, contemplating how much information related to location of a mobile phone can be given out to public keeping in mind privacy issues and security concerns.
Marketers should refine mobile geolocation strategies
A survey report released by White Horse, a digital marketing agency, urged marketers to refine their mobile geolocation strategies now as location-based services near the tipping point of consumer adoption. The report, Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven’t Bought It, and How Marketers Can Fix It, is available for free download on White Horse website.
The report reveals that more than 60 percent of smartphone users still are not using location-based services, and marketers and location-based service providers have more work to do in establishing the value of the services to the uninitiated. The report also revealed strong correlation between location-based service usage and heavy social network usage, suggesting the need for brands to strongly integrate their social and mobile strategies to take advantage of early adopter behaviour.
The local government of a major Chinese city, Chongqing, is now tracking down the whereabouts of its officials using GPS-enabled phones. Each government official has been provided with a GPS enabled 3G mobile phone to ascertain his location. An official is asked where he/she is and if he/she lies about his location, strict action is taken against him/her. Officials are required to keep the phone 24 hours a day and report their location whenever they are contacted. If their report differs from the GPS reading, disciplinary action is taken against them. They may even be asked to resign, the Chongqing Economic Times reported.
Microchip introduces wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) PICtail™ daughter board with u-blox GPS and GSM modules
Microchip Technology Inc has announced a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) PICtail™ Daughter Board that comes with all of the hardware, wireless communication protocols and application code examples needed to help designers jump start their fleet-management or location-based service application. Developed with u-blox the new Daughter Board includes the u-blox NEO-6Q GPS and LEON GSM/GPRS modules, and interfaces with Microchip’s Multimedia Expansion Board, and PIC32 Starter Kit. The board enables the quick and easy creation of designs offering communications, as well as a complete graphics interface, with audio, accelerometer and networking capabilities.
Berg Insight says shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets grew 97 percent in 2010
According to a new research report by Berg Insight, global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets increased almost 97 percent in 2010 to 295 million units. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8 percent, shipments are forecasted to reach 940 million units in 2015. The attach rates for wireless connectivity technologies in handsets including GPS, Bluetooth and WLAN are increasing steadily as the adoption of smartphones accelerates. These connectivity technologies are already a standard feature on high-end smartphones. Adoption of GPS and WLAN will also increase rapidly in the medium- and low-end smartphone segments.
GPS Cellular Forecasts Up, LBS Mergers Loom
ABI Research’s quarterly “Location Systems and Platforms Forecasts” has revealed some interesting trends for GPS and Location-Based Services (LBS) that emerged in the first quarter of 2011. ABI Research has raised its 2011 GPS cellular forecasts by more than 20%, as smartphones outperform expectations. GPS efforts are firmly focused on do-or-die wins with Tier One smartphone OEMs. The non-smartphone LBS market will increasingly use alternative location technologies.
Handheld will supply Netherlands Railways (NS) with more than 10,000 rugged handhelds for ticket control, travel information and support of workflow processes
The Handheld Group has been awarded the contract to supply the Netherlands Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) with more than 10,000 rugged Nautiz handhelds, 6,000 of which will be the Nautiz eTicket Pro®, containing an Arcontia RFID module. The NS European tender was the largest tender in the world for rugged PDAs in the public transportation sector during the past 12 months and one of the largest projects in the world for rugged handheld devices for all business verticals. Consisting of a technical and commercial evaluation, competition included all the major global suppliers of rugged handheld devices. The Nautiz eTicket Pro was among the top of the evaluated units, with the e-ticketing knowledge of Handheld’s RFID partner Arcontia and the attractive pricing playing a key role in Handheld being awarded the contract.
Geotab GO5 Premium Vehicle Tracking Device combines the best of u-blox GPS and GSM
Geotab has announced the immediate availability of its ultra-small, next-generation vehicle tracking solution based on u-blox’ embedded NEO GPS and LEON GSM modules. The GO5 is a compact yet multi-tasking telematics platform that works straight out of the box and requires virtually no installation time. It continuously monitors, records and reports speed, mileage, harsh braking, acceleration, and vehicle data including engine health diagnostics based on user-defined specifications. For fleet managers who are focused on reducing insured or self-insured claims costs, the GO5 includes an audible alert feature that advises drivers in real time of risky driving habits.
MTS 945, First GLONASS Smartphone, Available Online
GLONASS has just gone into mass availability in Russia with an announcement of the first system supporting smartphone. The smartphone called MTS Glonass 945 is now available online locked to the local MTS network. The hype around the 945 is mainly due to GLONASS. Spec-wise it’s not as notable as it gets. It is an Android 2.2 aka Froyo smartphone based on an ARMv7 Qualcomm MSM 7230 chip which is just a little shy of 1 GHz. Other features include 3.2-inch 240 × 400 touchscreen, 2 megapixel camera, expandable to 16 GB memory, GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi… all the sort of stuff from a couple of years ago. But GLONASS feature really does make a difference.
Roll out of 3G technology driving growth of Location Based Services in China
Research conducted by Technavio reveals that the location based services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 67 percent. The report, which focuses on China, indicates that the market is currently driven by the emergence of new technologies such as 2.5G and 3G, among other factors.
“With new and emerging technologies increasing data usage, location based services have seen increased adoption. Moreover the flexibility it offers at an economical cost is making location based services very popular in the Chinese market,” reports Technavio analyst.
In spite of the need, privacy concerns among end users hinder the growth of this market. However, the strong support offered by the Government for these services is expected to improve market growth.
The Chinese location based services market is marked by a boost offered by the increase in social networking. This makes the study an important one for companies to fully understand the potential in the market and formulate its own strategy.
The report, Location Based Service in China 2010 – 2014, is based on an extensive research from inputs by industry experts, vendors and end-users. It examines the factors- including the key trends, drivers and challenges, impacting the evolution of this market. Further, it contains an in-depth understanding of the key vendors including their SWOT Analysis.
Companies mentioned in this report include: Jiepang.com, GyPSii, SINA, and Qieke.com