Phone Makers Support GPS Phones For Social Networks

GPS-enabled handsets are touted as perfect for applications that give directions, while this Reuters cites industry execs arguing that a bigger application will be social networking: “finding friends and meeting new ones”. I like this comment from Miles Flint, head of mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson: “GPS tells me that today I’m sitting somewhere at 48 degrees north, 2 degrees east. Is that really that much value if I know I’m sitting in Paris?”

Using GPS for mobile networks is not a new idea, but with Nokia and Sony Ericsson targeting that direction it should get a boost…hopefully some sort of integration. Exactly when this will happen is still up in the air — the manufacturers think it will be sooner rather than later but there’s no dates mentioned in the article. Of course, the US already has a lot of GPS handsets in the market.

Benefon (which has been peddling GPS-handsets since at least 2002) bought a Dutch company to get GyPSii, a social networking application for GPS-enabled phones which will “allow users to upload pictures, videos and sound clips recorded with their phones that are automatically encoded with the location where the picture was taken or the recording was made”. Users can see where their friends are as well as search each other’s saved places, with the place marks eventually growing into a database which can deliver relevant search results because the company records data on who submits what and when. So a 40 year-old businessman searching for a place on a Wednesday night will get different results to a 16 year-old girl searching on a Saturday.

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