Technology Review writes about the importance of geolocation in the coming tech products: “hardware and software that track your location will be providing directions, offering shopping discounts, and aiding rescue workersservices that promise a windfall for ailing telecom carrier.”
Lock on to location-based computing, the hottest thing in wireless, which offers new services to customers and new revenue streams to carriers, and could save lives in the process. The idea is to make cell phones, personal digital assistants, and even fashion accessories capable of tracking their owners every movementwhether theyre outdoors, working on the 60th floor, or shopping in a basement arcade. Already, Japanese telecommunications company KDDI offers over 100 different location-based services using technology developed by wireless-equipment maker Qualcomm, from bracelets to let parents track their kids in the park, to cell phones that point the way to cheap noodle shops in Tokyos skyscraping Shinjyuku district. In Korea, two million citizens use their cell phones to locate nearby friends and, for example, find the most convenient coffee shops for impromptu meetings. In Europe, cell-phone networks can locate users and give them personalized directions to Big Ben, or the Eiffel Tower.