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Summary:

WiFi location startup Skyhook Wireless, which has the marketing-friendly browser plug-in Loki, has been making some pretty good progress since we last spoke to them in June. The Boston-based startup, which has raised $8.5 million from Bain Capital Ventures and Intel Capital among others, says it […]

WiFi location startup Skyhook Wireless, which has the marketing-friendly browser plug-in Loki, has been making some pretty good progress since we last spoke to them in June. The Boston-based startup, which has raised $8.5 million from Bain Capital Ventures and Intel Capital among others, says it is powering a location-based plug-in for AOL Instant Messenger users that will go live by the end of the year.

Skyhook Wireless CEO Ted Morgan says AIM users will be able to download the plug-in on the AOL site, find their buddies on a map, and receive alerts when their buddies are nearby. The company will also likely launch another plug-in for an IM provider before the end of the year as well, says Morgan. AOL had announced an OpenAIM initiative earlier this year, and had also expanded the OpenAIM to web applications.

A few weeks ago Skyhook also quietly launched an upgrade to its Loki plug-in, which includes local advertising that can show users local businesses. We downloaded the new plug-in on our neglected PC (there is still no Mac version) and checked out some of the location-tailored Google ads. Morgan says there has been impressive click-through on these, though that can only be data from the thousands of users that have already downloaded the plug-in. The upgrade also includes the ability to send an SMS to a friend to notify them of your location.

For now, much of Skyhook and Loki’s business is based on the laptop and PC market — Loki is for IE and Mozilla, and the WiFi access points that provide location data are mainly being connected via laptops. But mobile devices could be its next major market. Morgan says the company has signed up a “big component company” that will use Skyhook’s WiFi location data technology in dual WiFi/cellular phones. The idea is that cell phones with GPS aren’t so accurate in downtown areas (like we’ve pointed out) so Skyhook can cheaply and easily locate the phone when GPS is hindered.

  1. Skyhook need to understand that they are friggin around with an Australian icon. An irreverent rock n roll band named Shyhooks. I look forward to the associated legal jig a jig over that dropped “s”

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  2. The “h” should be a “k”

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  3. Update on Skyhook Wireless…

    GigaOm has an update on Skyhook, the company that offers a wi-fi-based location system called Loki. Hightlights:

    • it is powering a location-based plug-in for AOL Instant Messenger users that will go live by the end of the year.

    • it has a deal w…

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  4. AIM? next year? what? when?
    Ancient History…

    Been there, done that, met hot chick, gone out, done: http://www.Meetro.com

    Cheers mates!

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  5. [...] location based AIM plugin powered by Skyhook Wireless that we wrote about last October is now available. LBS via AIM and Wi-Fi access points — check it out. Share/E-mail | [...]

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  6. [...] Skyhook AIMs at Location Market – October 31, 2006 article on Skyhook Wireless reports the company will be offering a plug-in for [...]

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  7. [...] Wi-Fi location information is faster and works better in urban areas where GPS signals have a hard time penetrating. GPS works where there are no Wi-Fi networks, such as in rural areas or along highways. So what does Rosum’s broadcast TV solution have to offer? Rosum says it’s for areas where Wi-Fi networks aren’t able to penetrate, such as deep inside buildings, or where there are a lot of networks that may confuse location, such as in highly urban areas. However, Wi-Fi still seems to work well even in those situations. [...]

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  8. [...] Wi-Fi location information is faster and works better in urban areas where GPS signals have a hard time penetrating. GPS works where there are no Wi-Fi networks, such as in rural areas or along highways. So what does Rosum’s broadcast TV solution have to offer? Rosum says it’s for areas where Wi-Fi networks aren’t able to penetrate, such as deep inside buildings, or where there are a lot of networks that may confuse location, such as in highly urban areas. However, Wi-Fi still seems to work well even in those situations. [...]

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