19 April 2006
Awareness of location based services is growing
Location applications are one of the fastest growing areas in the mobile world. Navigation applications with external GPS modules have been on the market for some time and have already proven the need for mobile based navigation. With integrated GPS modules, the use of navigation applications becomes even more efficient and flexible.
Location aware mobile devices bring a whole new experience to users as well as a range of new service opportunities for operators. Users can see their location on a map, find information about local services and get directions to a chosen location. Location information can even be shared with other mobile device users.
A number of new business opportunities present themselves to operators. There is a growing need for value adding local services, such as point of interest searching, while location enabled games and road side assistance are also possible new services for users. In addition, local weather forecasts are always welcome. With assisted GPS, the value added serviced can be developed even further, allowing location information to be provided via the network in areas where regular GPS signals are restricted.
The S60 platform supports a privacy framework for location requests coming from the network. End users are able to control what information will be given to the server solutions, while fleet management or mobile tracking could be solutions where the privacy of a mobile device’s location needs to be considered.
Location-aware terminal applications can easily obtain the terminal’s current location via the Location Acquisition API, which is independent of positioning technology. Behind the API, the S60 platform also contains built-in support for the majority of Bluetooth GPS devices on the market place, allowing the number of location-ready handsets to grow rapidly.
As a new feature, S60 3rd Edition allows users to name and store their favorite locations as landmarks. Applications can access the same landmark storage, which is managed by the Landmarks application. SDK interfaces and generic UI components are available for easy integration of landmarks to any application. With S60, users can also download landmarks from the web and send them to other compatible devices.
S60 3rd Edition also contains a GPS display application called Navigator, which allows the user to see the direction to the destination (along a straight line), position information on the current location and traveling information such as traveled distance and average speed.