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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mobile Search & Magellan

Engadget currently has a good roundup of all the major mobile-specific search engines that are out there, including the offerings from Google & Yahoo. Meanwhile, Geekzone has an article about mobile search, including a bit which really caught my eye:
Nokia introduces mobile search to its smartphones

"(...) The local search engines enable searching for local services or businesses - anything from restaurants and hotels to taxi numbers or flower shops. Results of local searches display the relevant contact data, and the user can instantly, with the push of a button, call the given telephone number or save it to contacts.

With an integrated mapping solutions from ABmaps.com portal by AtlasCT and digital map data from NAVTEQ, the results can be shown on a map. Users can also save and, for example, send the map as MMS to a friend.

When traveling between countries, the search application automatically offers to change to available local search engines. Users can also change the location setting manually, enabling a user to find the contact details, for example, of a hotel in another country in order to make a reservation for a future visit."
The last paragraph sounds really promising for travellers! It's also nice that it's being done by Nokia, as it has a very wide brand recognition, and most people are already familiar with their user interface.

Also saw an Engadget interview with Christian Bubenheim (general manager, Magellan Consumer Products) which may also be of interest, as they talk about GPS devices - it's good to see that people are really using these in real situations where it could mean the difference between life and death! It's going to be especially important in New Zealand, where mobile network coverage is somewhat sporadic; when all mobiles also have an inbuilt GPS chip (as mentioned in that Channel 9 Windows Mobile 5.0 video), that will probably be the best of all!

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