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2008-04-02

iPhone in the City: Navizon - Location and Buddy Tracker

The iPhone's location finder is interesting, lacking the accuracy of the Nokia N95's dedicated GPS unit yet able to provide a fix in under 10 seconds, it is arguably more useful than a standard satellite navigation system.

Our N95 was let down by a slow fix time, leaving us looking slightly foolish when friends asked where we were, only to pull out the latest gadget which five minutes later was still trying to access satellites. The iPhone on the other hand provides an almost instant location via triangulation of phone mast signals and known wifi points.

Accuracy is limited but it works and provides a quick and easy way to orientate yourself in the city, and now thanks to Navizon you can track your friends as well. Navizon is an application that builds on the iPhones 'locate me' feature, it tracks both your and any friends location every 10 seconds issuing you with an alert when they come into a predefined range.


You can add your friends to your Buddy list with a click of a button
and then simply click on "Buddies" to see where they are on a map. Your friend will receive an notification with a link to click on and you will be able to see each other's location.

The YouTube movie embedded below provides a walkthough of Navizon:




This is the first example we have seen of near real-time location tracking of people on a consumer device. It is perhaps a landmark moment in geo-software and an indication of the route ahead as we are all becoming increasingly 'geo-located'.

There is a free trial available and more details from http://www.navizon.com

4 comments:

  1. Just a pointer: the current firmware for the N95 (available since July last year) gets a fix in 10-20s, thanks to the addition of AGPS. And this fix actually tells you where you are. ;)

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  2. True - but that requires network data usage (?) and that is expensive in the UK making it almost unusable unless you upgrade your contract.

    The refreshing thing about the iPhone is the unlimited data package...

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  3. Aye that is true, but T-Mob and O2 sport very generous data packages for £7.50 or free, depending. And you get bookmarks on Google Maps iPhone.

    Unless I'm mistaken in my understading, sorry: the network data usage of AGPS wasn't enough to show up after 2 weeks roaming using it most days... (Google Maps is another matter altogether!)

    Meh: I just wanted to make sure people didn't labour under the misaprehension that the n95 is slow to lock on to GPS, when in fact it (along with its AGPS Bretheren) are some of the fastest devices on the market to deliver precise position information.

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  4. > This is the first example we have seen of near real-time location tracking of people on a consumer device.

    Japan's DoCoMo, AU and SoftBank have had similar offerings for a while: http://jp.blognation.com/2007/09/24/find-your-friend-gps-now-available-on-japan-mobiles/

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