Today Loopt and Qualcomm announced a deal that allows Loopt the ability to grab location data for a monthly fee, rather than each time someone checks their locale — making it cheaper to figure out exactly where a mobile device is at any time. Location is becoming increasingly relevant on the mobile phone after years of unfulfilled promises. But location can add costs for developers trying to apply it to their applications.
Normally, developers are charged each time their program asks a server for the GPS coordinates of the mobile device, making location-based services a potentially pricey feature. The deal between Loopt and SnapTrack, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, gives Loopt the ability to use QPoint, SnapTrack’s location-based server software, to provide its social mapping and other advanced location services without getting charged each time it asks for the data.
Now that GPS chips are becoming standard in phones and more carriers, handset makers and developers are introducing mobility onto their platforms, lowering the costs associated with the service might actually bring about more applications and uses. Once folks figure out privacy rules, and how to keep the carriers from getting in the way, it’s possible your mobile device could help you navigate the web and real life.