Om Malik asks if WiFi can help jumpstart location-based services.
With WiFi becoming common place, and the upcoming entrance of city-wide wireless, companies like (Loki from) Skyhook Wireless, Plazes, and Meetroduction and its Meetro service, are starting to make major deals and find a significant user base. Meetro, for instance is building an interesting social aspect based on its technology, and it could actually catch on, once it expands beyond the classic early adopter user base. A new function that imports Myspace info could help on that front.
Skyhook Wireless location technology uses a database of WiFi access points to deliver user location. The company has Loki, its browser plug-in that is starting to bring in users, but it could go farther in licensing its technology to big players. The company says its talking to IM-providers, search companies like Google, and even the video game companies Sony and Nintendo for their portable devices. Sony and Nintendo were rumored to have checked out embedding GPS for the PSP and DS, but the feature was just too darn expensiveon that end Skyhook would be much cheaper.