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Listen to Echoes from Woices – Ideas for the Location Innovation Awards

Have you registered for the Location Innovation Awards? It’s not too late.  The Location Innovati0n Awards don’t close until February 16.

Recently I came across a site that shows potential, but they are not yet using GPS or mobile. Nevertheless, their concept is very good. In simple terms Woices allows you to record comments on the net about places that you have been to, called ‘Echoes’. Using reverse geocoding you can tag the location to  a map so that people can go to a map and see the locations that have ‘Echoes’ and then listen to them.

From a Location Innovation Awards perspective, this would be a great concept to make mobile. Whether it’s through GPS or triangulation, it would be a simple thing to create an application that takes advantage of the mobile knowing it’s position, recording a voice message and a photo and then uplocaing it to a website.

The concept of a social community sharing information is becoming commonplace, but most of these applications are web based. This is fine when you are planning a trip, but could be much better if it was made more mobile.

When I travel overseas and am looking for accomodation or activities, I check them out on Travelocity. The reason I do this is because the public can upload comments. Last year I had a short holiday in jamaica and found this system very helpful. For example the first resort I looked up in Montego Bay looked great on the hotel’s website, but the comments said things like, “If you are single and want to party 24 hours a day, this place was made for you. Don’t bring your kids. ” Using people’s comments I found the perfect resort and it was exactly what the comments said it would be and I was very happy with my selection.

Mobility means you can do much more. For example let’s say you are in Rotorua and looking for somewhere to have a brunch. Using your mobile you could search for cafe’s or restaurants within a kilometer of where you are and listen to the ‘Echoes’ other people had left. For example “great food but it took an hour to get it to the table’.

From a tourism perspective, sharing information that you can access from your phone could be great. I was talking to someone recently who went on a motorhome tour of New Zealand and they told me that some of the best places they stopped for the night weren’t marked on any maps, they found out about them from other motorhomers who told them where to find spots where they could park by the water and enjoy wonderful sunsets. A GPS mobile application could allow you to locate all sorts of interesting places based on the recommendations of others.

Voice messages like this can be in multiple languages and would allow you to enjoy high tech results without requiring you to have computing skills  or sophisticated technology. In addition to info from fellow travellers, this is also a great opportunity for locals to share information with travellers about local history, amenities and attractions and people have already started doing this on Woices.

A concept like this in a mobile environment would fit into several categories of the Location Innovation Awards, including the best Tourism Application and the AA Maps Widgets which could earn you a luxury adventure in a Maui Camper.

December 7, 2008 Posted by | AA Maps, awards, competition, competitions, geosmart, gps, lbs, location innovation awards, maps, new zealand, satnav, social networking, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entries are racing in for the Location Innovation Awards

The Awards haven’t been running for 2 weeks yet and already 16 people have entered, which is wonderful. There are 3 student entries so far and the entries range from Auckland to Wellington, so no sign of anything from the South Island as yet. We did have someone wanting to enter from the USA but unfortunately they are not Kiwi’s and have never been to New Zealand.

Also interesting that entries seem to be fairly equal amongst the 4 categories of Social Networking, LBS Games, Proximity Based Marketing and Widgets for the AA Maps web site.

Hopefully we will see many more entries over coming days.

October 16, 2008 Posted by | competitions, gps, lbs, lbs games, location innovation awards, maps, new zealand, proximity based marketing, social networking, web maps | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why students are entering the Location Innovation Awards

We received 6 entries in the first 3 days of the awards which is wonderful.

Yesterday I presented at Raffles College and at Massey University, telling them about the competition and inviting them to participate. In addition to the teaser of 3 prizes for the best student entries, there are lots of reasons why students should consider this a great opportunity. The University and College agreed and both are being given assignments around the Awards.

So what are the benefits to students?

They have the potential to help shape the technology future they would like to see. How many times have you looked at technology and thought you could design a solution better? Here’s your chance and you don’t have to have the ability to build a working demonstration.

Computing, Business and Marketing students have an opportunity to work on real life solutons using the skills and technologies they have studied. They get the opportunity to access GeoSmart’s API’s and webservices and gain experience using new tools and concepts.

They fit well into the target demographic for LBS users.

A free trip to the US to meet and learn from industry leaders such as Google and Yahoo. There are also lots of other great prizes.

They will receive recognition and be able to positively influce future career or business opportunities and perhaps the chance to get support to commercialise their concepts.

I am looking forward to presenting at other universities over the next week.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | competitions, gps, lbs, location innovation awards, maps, new zealand, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The entries are starting to come in for the Location Innovation Awards

Within half an hour of the Location Innovation web site going live and the Geekzone Forum going up, we had our first 2 entries into the awards and are now up to 5 entries in the first 36 hours which is really exciting.

The web based media have also given us great support with stories in The Channel, The National Business Review, Scoop, Reseller News, NZS.com, Tone Magazine and PC World.

We have sent the release to lots of newspapers around the country so that everyone gets a chance to participate and are also working on getting the message out to the education community, because we are very keen for students to get in on the act and even have a prize for the best student entry.

Tomorrow we are doing presentations to students at the Raffles College of Design & Commerce and Massey University.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | competitions, lbs, location innovation awards, maps, new zealand | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GeoSmart Launches the Location Innovation Awards

At GeoSmart we believe that Location Based Services applications (LBS) on mobile phones and converged devices will be commonplace in 4-5 years time. We want to bring the future forward by challenging people to develop concepts around this space with the Location Innovation Awards. The overall winner will enjoy a trip to San Jose in California to attend the Where 2.0 Conference in May 2009.

There are four categories that may be entered. These are Social Networking, Proximity Based Marketing, LBS Games, and Widgets for the AA Maps web site. Our sponsors includeThe Wireless and Broadband Forum, Massey University, Tomizone, Sony Ericsson, TomTom, Geekzone, MyMobile Magazine and Vodafone New Zealand who have contributed wonderful prizes.

The competition launched on 6 October 2008 and entries must be in by 16 February 2009 which gives participants ample time to come up with their concepts.

A forum on Geekzone for the competition has been set up so that peple who need assistance or want to throw ideas around can do so. There will also be regular updates on the GeoSmart WordPress blog .

October 5, 2008 Posted by | gps, lbs, location innovation awards, new zealand, tomtom, web maps | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment