LBS News


Aug 2011 | No Comment


Mobile apps save USD 17.6 bn annually

The use of mobile apps by small businesses saved approximately USD 17.6 billion annually, estimates a survey conducted by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council. The most popular type of application used was GPS navigation, with 68 percent, followed by apps for contact management at 46 percent and remote document access at 41 percent. Other popular kinds of apps included travel planning (32 percent), banking and finance management (30 percent), social media marketing (27 percent) and location-based services (23 percent).
The study, which drew on the responses of 304 owners of companies with 20 employees or fewer, found that 51 percent of respondents believe the use of apps on their smartphones and iPads made their companies more competitive. Small business owners, though, say that there is even more room for growth in how their companies use mobile apps in their businesses.

SAP forays into geospatial market

SAP AG has announced that in collaboration with Google, it will enhance its business analytics software with location-based data capabilities, allowing people to interact with real-time information via Google Maps. The plans continue a strong history of collaboration between the companies, most recently on advances for the SAP StreamWork application such as inclusion in the Google Apps Marketplace, integration with Google Docs and OpenSocial adoption.

Researchers develop innovative method of indoor tracking

Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science determined one way of figuring out one’s location inside: by letting their phone listen. Their new mobile phone app, called Batphone, allows users to record ambient noise in a room and tag it with an acoustic fingerprint, which allows future users to use that database of fingerprints to determine their location.

The Batphone app records 10 seconds of noises that humans often ignore: vents, computers, lights, and appliances. The program then looks at how the sound energy is distributed over various frequencies, and after filtering out transient, short-lived sounds (like someone talking), it creates a sound fingerprint for the room. An acoustic fingerprint is just one way of determining location indoors; other possibilities include Wi-Fi signals and radio signals from cellular towers.


Microsoft releases source code of LBS apps

Looking to allay fears that Windows Phone 7 users could be tracked, Microsoft has released the source code for the application it uses for LBS and said it plans to eliminate use of device identifier information with those services. According to Microsoft’s MSDN download page, “The information we collect includes elements like latitude, longitude, direction, speed, mobile country code, mobile network code, location area code, cell identifier and only specific Wi-Fi information such as BSSID (i.e., the Media Access Control, or MAC address), signal strength, and radio type.”

Recently, congressional debates in the US have put a spotlight on privacy issues associated with location tracking services used with mobile devices. Microsoft plans to dispense with device identification with the next Windows Phone 7 update.

Tata launches LBS for enterprise clients in India

Tata Teleservice Ltd. in India launched Workforce Tracking Services that enable companies to track on a real time basis the location of their employees who are provided with pickup or drop facility during the graveyard shifts. According to the company’s press statement, it also gets updates on route deviation or over speeding of the vehicle if any. Tata will also offer enterprise customers a host of applications leveraging its LBS platform, including Vehicle Tracking Services, Asset Tracking Services, Workforce Management Solutions.
In addition to the traditional GPS-based navigation/tracking technology, it offers LBS powered by Assisted GPS (A-GPS) and Mobile Network Based Location Technology to deliver seamless and accurate tracking services. The A-GPS service, which is powered by Qualcomm, will use the most advanced positioning methodology to provide customers the flexibility of tracking assets inside buildings and structures as well.

MapmyIndia to offer voiced-based GPS navigators

MapmyIndia has announced a seven-year strategic partnership with Nuance Communications to offer street level turn-by-turn voice navigation on its next-generation navigation devices. For the first time in India, MapmyIndia will offer GPS navigators that give voice guidance with accurate pronunciation of Indian street and road names. Under the alliance, MapmyIndia’s new navigation devices will be equipped with Nuance Communications’ Vocalizer for Automotive – the industry leading text-to-speech engine for more accurate voice guidance.

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