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Global positioning systems aren’t just for car dashboards anymore. Over the past two years, we’ve seen tremendous innovation with geo-location.
From package-tracking systems that allow customers to track freight from one end of the U.S. to another to Facebook applications, geo-location is showing greater potential every day.
Two solutions we’ve seen in recent months typify the potential of this segment. TomTom’s iPhone app now incorporates geo-tagged photos into its arsenal of providing turn-by-turn directions. From the app, users can now select a previously taken photograph with geo-tagged information and Tom- Tom will just use that information to provide Point A-to-Point-B directions. It’s as simple as that.
We’ve also seen an enterprise VoIP solution from Digium -- Switchvox -- that mashes Google Maps with caller ID information to let an organization geo-locate caller information with no muss or fuss. Taking it a step further, by integrating a caller’s Facebook information into caller ID features, it’s possible to import satellite GPS information from a Facebook status update a caller publishes into the operator’s console.
And AT&T shows what is possible for the smallest of enterprises. Its FamilyMap service can find a cell phone’s location information, either via satellite through a GPS function or by triangulation, to allow monitoring of someone’s whereabouts on a Web-based mapping application any time a phone is simply switched on and in a service area.
Personal and consumer uses of geo-location are now entering commercial solutions, and the potential to drive value is almost limitless. If you haven’t considered this segment in providing solutions, we think now is the time to start working it in.
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