December 28, 2006 - kenshinjeff

Location-Based Services with Wireless@SG

Location-Based Services with Wireless@SG

So far, we have been talking about existing innovations is our daily life. Today, I would like to introduce a “relatively new” kind of emerging innovation. I use the words “relatively new” because this has been around for several years but due to various infrastructure and implementation problems, not many companies have implemented it successfully.

Briefly speaking, this kind of technology is known as LBS, location-based services.

So, how is this an innovation, you ask? Well, without too much techno-jargon, each individual free wireless@sg access point is identified by a unique address. Given this information, it would be relatively easy for someone with a computer to know where he is. This may seem to be utterly useless at the first glance, “Why would I need an internet enabled device to tell me where I am?”

We take a look at how Singtel is using LBS with our existing GSM cell phones. Singtel has been using LBS for quite a while now, but it is relatively expensive compared to the free wireless LBS which may be implemented in the time to come. Here’s a short excerpt from Singtel’s website.

Location-Based *Send brings you information on the nearby amenities and general services such as Petrol Stations, Post Offices, ATM machines, 4D/Toto Outlets, Fast Food Centers, Cafes and Supermarkets within your current vicinity by simply keying in a code for the required service.

With an LBS service, users can opt to subscribe to different channels, available through one interface. Some users might be interested in knowing how far is the nearest cinema showing “Lord of the Rings”, others might be interested in networking services such as “Locate-a-friend”

For the content providers, the possibilities are unlimited, subscribed users or would-be opportunities would be alerted with a message that looks like this, while walking into a shopping centre: “Present this message to get a 15% storewide discount!”

What’s so interesting about this is, that the user or subscriber need not pay anything, since the wireless@sg network is free for the next few years. Software costs could be free, as it can be alleviated by the content providers.

geeky stuff / really cool geeky stuff

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