Location-Based Services

Foursquare Testing NFC, Adds Merchant Rewards

Foursquare Testing NFC, Adds Merchant Rewards

The Foursquare mobile check-in service has just launched v3.0 of its mobile app, the biggest update the company has ever launched. Foursquare employees have been working around the clock to finish the update in time for SXSW, in what co-founder Dennis Crowley calls Foursquare’s “shock and awe” campaign. The company is focusing on the potential of near field communication in this new update. Below, you can see the Foursquare team up past midnight, celebrating as the update launched. Read on past the cut for more details.

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Yobongo location-based chat now available in App Store

Yobongo location-based chat now available in App Store

Yobongo, a location-based chat app that allows you to chat with people that are nearby, is now available on the App Store. The application has been in beta testing for a month, and claims to make it "super fun and easy to chat with people nearby." Right now the app covers New York City, San Francisco and Austin. The company says that it will determine other cities to add based on "demand from passionate fans".

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ShopAlerts By AT&T Sends Location-Based Text Ads

ShopAlerts By AT&T Sends Location-Based Text Ads

AT&T is preparing to step beyond typical carrier duties, by launching a new location-based text ad service. The carrier will be sending out text ads such as coupons and other special offers to subscribed customers based on their locations as detected by their phones. The program will start only in certain metropolitan areas including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.

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Google bakes Hotpot into search in push for NFC adoption

Google bakes Hotpot into search in push for NFC adoption

Google is broadening support for its Hotpot recommendations system, adding 38 new languages - including French, German and Chinese - and adding search results for the crowd-sourced review system to Google.com. The news is important since Google plans to tie Hotpot in with its Android NFC drive; Hotpot window stickers - currently seeing a trial roll-out - already work with the NFC reader on the Nexus S.

Video demo after the cut

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Gowalla Disney deal announced as the Magic Kingdom checks-in

Gowalla Disney deal announced as the Magic Kingdom checks-in

Gowalla has inked a deal with Disney, which will see visitors to Disney parks able to check-in at over 100 locations across Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California, earning featured stamps as you go. The Gowalla Passport pages will show what's happening at the parks, together with maps, check-in streams and other special items, and each ride or attraction can be automatically tweeted or announced on Facebook.

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InvisiTrack launch super-accurate GPS alternative

InvisiTrack launch super-accurate GPS alternative

We're already familiar with GPS and pseudo-GPS triangulation technologies, that use cellphone towers or known WiFi base stations to figure out roughly where you are, but InvisiTrack reckon they can use spectrum bands more commonly found carrying TV signals to pinpoint position down to under 3m indoors or 1m outdoors.  Their InvisiTrack LS system relies on the fact that the 512 and 698 MHz bands can better penetrate through walls and other structures than higher-frequency bands like the 2.4GHz used for WiFi.

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Qualcomm patent app embeds LBS on SIM-style module

Qualcomm patent app embeds LBS on SIM-style module

Qualcomm have applied for a patent whereby location-based services (LBS) could be supported by a removable module, which the user could switch between different devices such as cellphones.  The module - which could be a SIM card or similar - would store personal details and, potentially, other information about the individual user, and streamline setup of new devices.  It would also ensure consistent LBS behaviour across devices.

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