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Summary:

I thought news from The Apple Blog was interesting this morning, considering we were were just talking about Skyhook Wireless and location-based systems. You can use the $9.95 Navizon application on your iPhone 3G and actually earn money back. Using the software, your iPhone will collect […]

Pub_navizonI thought news from The Apple Blog was interesting this morning, considering we were were just talking about Skyhook Wireless and location-based systems. You can use the $9.95 Navizon application on your iPhone 3G and actually earn money back. Using the software, your iPhone will collect and send back data points of WiFi signals a cellular network towers, which Navizon will then use in their database. With that information, Navizon says they can pinpoint your location to within 10 to 30m on a non-GPS device. You won’t get rich on this deal because it takes 10,000 points to earn back your $10 software purchase: you’ll see 15 points for a new cell tower and 3 points for a new WiFi access point. If they’re already been discovered by another Navizon user, those rewards drop to 2 an 1 point respectively.

The news isn’t actually all that new since the rewards program seems to have been in place for well over year, but I never caught wind of it. Navizon offers a free "lite" application on the iPhone that I’ll have to take for a spin. If it seems worthy of my $10, I’ll upgrade to the full version since being on the run can earn back some money and make the overall system better for everyone who uses it. This makes me wonder: how did Skyhook Wireless create what’s arguably the largest location database for WiFi access points and cellular towers?

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  1. CNet reported that Skyhook has been sending wardriving cars around the country collecting APs for a few years now. Now that their database is at critical mass, getting users to grow/maintain the data organically is a genius move.

  2. While I’ll prob download the light version to help them build their database (like Kevin, I believe in contributing for the greater good), I’m really not sure what the $10 app gets me. Buddy tracking? Not sure many (any?) of my friends REALLY are keen for that – I can send them a message of “where are you”.

    I do think that there are some fantastic location based apps that are yet to be built, but at this point I don’t think this is one. Let us know if you find otherwise, Kevin!

  3. You don’t actually have to pay cash for the full version – just collect 10,000 points using the ‘lite’ version and redeem them for the $10 upgrade fee, so then if you find you can’t collect enough points to make it worthwhile, you won’t be out of pocket…

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