location services

Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips has its own plans for location-based services in stores and entertainment venues, eschewing low-power Bluetooth by instead using LED lighting that can communicate with a smartphone app and guide customers around. Dubbed Intelligent Lighting, the connected retail lighting system not only illuminates the store, as you'd expect, but acts as a positioning grid which the smartphone can use to figure out where it is currently.

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Brighter beacons: Up close with Qualcomm’s Gimbal for Apple Stores

Brighter beacons: Up close with Qualcomm’s Gimbal for Apple Stores

With Gimbal, Qualcomm has a device that breaks quite a few molds. Open source, secure, and conceptually cool, Gimbal has the ability to actually make a difference in your day-to-day life. If you’re one to shop at an Apple Store, chances are you already know just how sublimely smooth the Gimbal experience can be. We sat down with Kevin Hunter, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management for Retail Solutions, to find out just how Gimbal makes it happen, both for retailers and consumers.

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Automatic update turns cars into mobile Apple iBeacons

Automatic update turns cars into mobile Apple iBeacons

Automatic has updated its Bluetooth smart driving assistant to turn it into an Apple iBeacon, potentially allowing cars to communicate with stores, restaurants, and other venues as they drive past. The new tweak, added in a recent firmware up for the dongle, expands Automatic from its current role feeding MPG, speed, and other data to a nearby smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0, adopting Apple's location-based platform.

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Qualcomm Gimbal takes on Apple iBeacon for micro-location

Qualcomm Gimbal takes on Apple iBeacon for micro-location

Qualcomm has launched Gimbal, its take on Apple's iBeacon, a system of context-aware proximity beacons intended for shopping, social networking, mobile services, and more. Using small, battery powered Bluetooth dongles which create localized hotspots to interact with iOS and - eventually - Android devices, Qualcomm says Gimbal can push product information, sports team details, topical adverts, and other content whenever a smartphone comes into range, just as iBeacon promises only with eventual cross-platform support.

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Trax GPS tracker locates kids and kitties

Trax GPS tracker locates kids and kitties

It doesn't matter if you're a parent or a pet owner, one of the things that both groups want to do is keep track of their kids and their pet. A company called Wonder Technology Solutions has launched a new product called the Trax: GPS Tracker for Children & Pets. The smart device works in conjunction with an app on your smartphone or tablet allowing you to locate your kid or your pet anytime from anywhere.

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Google Keep notifications and Now integration added

Google Keep notifications and Now integration added

Google Keep, the note-taking service launched to rival Evernote back in March, has been updated with notifications and Google Now integration, aiming to pull out relevant notes rather than wait for users to dig through them. The reminders system works both on time, as per a regular alarm, but also on location, meaning that the app can now flag up a notification with, say, your shopping list when you go into a grocery store.

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Nokia HERE Research: We talk Smart Cities, ethical tracking & self-driving cars

Nokia HERE Research: We talk Smart Cities, ethical tracking & self-driving cars

If you're carrying a smartphone or driving a modern car, you're a potential probe, and Nokia would love to unlock your location for its HERE Maps services. The company already has its own gathering programs in place yet, for all its gigabytes of daily data, Nokia's HERE 3D mapping car is only one part of a navigation data analysis program that combines 80,000 sources from across the globe. We sat down with Jane MacFarlane, head of HERE Research at Nokia, and along with her team responsible for making sense of the masses of data, to find out why being a probe might one day help you avoid traffic jams, travel more safely, and even discover the hottest new restaurants, all thanks to the "wisdom of crowds".

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Google Maps local advertising added to Android and iOS apps

Google Maps local advertising added to Android and iOS apps

Google may give away software like Google Maps for iOS and Android free, but it has to make its money somewhere, and so the company announced today that the location apps will now support AdWords advertising. The updated app for iPhone, iPad, and Android now injects localized adverts at the bottom of the screen, based on what the user is searching for and where; so, if you're hunting down a cake shop, you might see a promotion for a nearby bakery.

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Google City Experts takes on Yelp with crowdsourced local reviews

Google City Experts takes on Yelp with crowdsourced local reviews

Google has launched Google City Experts, a new program aiming to take on Yelp and other local review sites by promising perks and praise for those regularly writing up their experiences at restaurants, theaters, and other locations around select cities. The scheme, which ties together Google Maps and Google+, promises "Local Insiders" access to an exclusive community, Google-branded swag, and special event invitations in return for committing to producing "quality reviews" each month.

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