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RIM Should Integrate Location Based Services & Presence

I have a dream…

Sorry couldn’t help myself. I just wish RIM would take the time and integrate location based services into the BlackBerry OS. I can’t count how many useless conversations I have had with coworkers asking “Where are you?” RIM should also integrate the ability to tell contacts your current availability.

LocationradarImagine if when you opened up BlackBerry messenger you could tell the location of your trusted contacts. This would be even better if it also allowed for cell tower triangulation and worked hand in hand with Google or BlackBerry maps. Even if you could easily send your location to another contact would be an improvement.

Also it would be invaluable if you could see the current status of your contacts in your address book. That way you could see that you boss is currently away and at a meeting without having to fire up BlackBerry messenger.

I don’t know why RIM has been holding off on integrating these two features into the core of the BlackBerry OS or at least BlackBerry Messenger. Anybody else have any ideas? Thoughts?

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This would indeed be cool, but how do you propose getting the carriers to allow it? Since Verizon and others seem to view GPS location in a Blackberry as an additional revenue stream, it’s hard to imagine them getting too excited about it being given away for free?

    Or is the thought that if RIM completely integrates LBS into the OS, no carrier would dare disable it or try to charge extra for it? Ah, nirvana, but I’m not sure RIM has the cajones…

  2. For those who don’t follow TechCrunch, great article on this same subject.

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/04/location-technologies-primer/

  3. “Where are you?” has now been answered and soon to be made available via Blackberry and iPhone. It is already available on most other Java compatible devices.

    Send me your phone number ([email protected]) when you want an invite to start using the coolest mobile app that I’ve ever seen – since Twitter.

    It was developed by an entrepreneur in Dusseldorf.

    Imagine visiting another city, and seeing one of the people in your phone’s address book suddenly popping up in your Belysio app – ready for a meet-up somewhere nearby. Or being able to follow the travelling adventures of a family member as they cross borders from country to country. Or a mother being able to follow her children that go camping or to an amusement park for the day, just to give a piece of mind…. and some entertainment as the kids share their experiences with tweets, and photos of their adventures as they unfold.

    All you need is a regular, modern cell phone with web access. Belysio is the first location based service that doesn’t require geo positioning technology. They simply compiled a database with all known phone masts in the world, and through that you can, if you want to, automatically let everybody know where you are.

    Belysio is a Social Radar and a Geo Journal in one, showing you where your friends are, and what they’re doing. In other words, it’s the very first simple tool that demonstrates the advantages of “location” as an extra layer to your communications, offering you a delicious sense of “presence” and “proximity” regarding the friends, family members and business contacts in your phone’s address book.

    Belysio offers many extras:
    – address book synchronisation
    – instant messaging via your choice of IM service – MSN, Yahoo!, etc…. even Twitter
    – photo album,
    – location based google & wiki search,
    – integration of your social networks,
    …and loads of cool features to come!

    And by the way, the cellcos will love this stuff. It consumers data bandwidth on which they do earn lots of cash.

  4. Sounds cool and all John (though I abhor Twitter), but how do cellcos earn lots of cash for the data usage increase by this app? Data plans (especially for Blackberry) in the USA are pretty much all flat rate and “unlimited”.

  5. In Europe the pricing differents from one country to the next when it comes to data plans. But actually the real money will be a shared revenue model on the services enabled by such a platform. Ideally the carrier would become a partner as a “community operator”.

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