Former LBS Challenge Winner Launches Second Application on Major Wireless Carrier
By creating this unique forum for developers to gain exposure and access to industry experts and decision makers, 6 previous LBS Challenge participants have received venture capital funding and 8 past LBS Challenge winners have launched commercial applications on major wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Smarter Agent(R), a former category winner and current semifinalist in the Global LBS Challenge, recently launched APTS FOR RENT, a tool that gives customers the power to view nearby apartments for rent on their mobile phone. Smarter Agent has elegantly combined the powerful capabilities of location based services (LBS) with real estate property information to provide users with instant data about the world around them to deliver two commercially available applications.
"Through our participation in the NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge, Smarter Agent was given the opportunity to actively launch into new business ventures by exposing our company to the right industry players at the right time. NAVTEQ jump-starts relationships between LBS content providers, carriers and vendors," commented Eric Blumberg, Smarter Agent President and Founder. "The exposure received since winning has helped Smarter Agent gain widespread national media attention and help Recently Sold Homes become a commercialized product, recently launched on a major wireless carrier."
The following companies, and their respective LBS applications, have been selected as semifinalists. These companies will advance to an official judging round at CTIA Wireless in March (listed by category):
IOTO International Inc.'s LBS solution establishes a channel for selling transportation services between points of interest (POI). Ranking transportation links and destination according to user interest from a particular origin, IOTO offers customers wayfinding, comparison, and convenience benefits.
ParkWhiz Inc.'s ParkWhiz Mobile uses location-based services to help consumers find parking information (price, distance, hours, accessibility, reservations).
Ten23's SpotKast keeps phones updated with relevant information, allowing users to skip download times, read web content, find POI, avoid traffic jams and spot friends through one easy-to-use interface.
Zeetoo's Car Finder guarantees that users will never lose their car again. By pressing the "lock" button when leaving the car, its location is saved on a users' GPS mobile phone; pressing the "unlock button" launches a map that guides the user back to the car.
LBSNow offers a unique approach to location-based services, enabling businesses and individuals to readily create and surface location-based services related to their own business/venue/service to nearby mobile users, and enabling mobile users to discover and access these local services using their mobile devices.
Astroleap's MRewards is a location-based points system that rewards users with points for using directional data and for being present at prime locations such as malls, retail store locations and other "reward" areas. Points may be redeemed for a variety of products and services. Users can also opt-in to receive special coupons and offers based on their location, shopping, and purchase preferences, and receive directions to select locations.
ComVu Media Inc.'s ComVu PocketCaster(TM) GPS takes advantage of camera phones with integrated GPS receivers and enables 'one-button' mobile Webcasting. It automatically embeds date, time and GPS data in a live video stream, and archives it on a server. Location data can be viewed dynamically on maps, while the video is streaming.
Smarter Agent presents the first mobile real estate GPS portal that allows consumers to search for apartments for rent, homes for sale, past sale prices and neighborhood information right from their cell phone. Users can view videos, forward property information, and extend their search on the web from any desktop computer. Smarter Agent connects consumers directly to agents, property managers and owners.
ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE CATEGORY
w-PlanIT communication's location aware m-commerce platform enables consumers to find, reserve, and or purchase travel and entertainment related services in an automated, personalized and pervasive manner.
Wuh-sup? LLC's mobile concierge service combines personal preferences with location to find anything to do, anytime, anywhere. Search future dates, reference other locations, and build personal itineraries. User input to the database provides available activities that are as diverse as the users themselves.
YDreams' Wall Street Fighter(TM) is an innovative location-based game where the world of business works as the backdrop for some fun fighting antics. Wall Street Fighter features highly appealing graphics, location-based scenarios and engaging game play.
TikGames' GeoChief is a multi-faceted instrument for users on the go. Create blogs, track routes, and navigate anywhere with multiple tools such as compass and altimeter.
SOCIAL NETWORKING CATEGORY
duzine.com LLX's Beacon allows any J2ME GPS-enabled cell phone to map, track and share its geographic location. The companion website enables users to provide additional details, publish locations to a MySpace widget, interact with others nearby, upload photos, and perform a host of other actions associated with their physical location.
Elloqor Solutions Inc.'s Milogo is a friend-finder service that works across wireless carriers. Milogo shows location of friends and colleagues on a map displayed on mobile phones, integrates text messaging to facilitate the coordination of social gatherings and copies text messages to recipient's email.
Jentro Technologies GmbH's activepilot offers local search, car and pedestrian off board navigation with traffic avoidance and spoken street names, traffic information on commute routes, public transportation and flight information, personal security and community services information.
loopt, inc. delivers a social mapping service. Using location-based technologies, loopt lets users know where their friends are by automatically updating their locations on a map on their mobile handset and the Web.
"The prevalence of location and navigation services in the wireless industry today can be attributed to the innovation demonstrated by the LBS developer community, and demonstrated by proven companies such as Smarter Agent. The Global LBS Challenge strives to foster and accelerate developers and the LBS industry," commented Winston Guillory, Senior Vice President - Consumer and Enterprise, NAVTEQ. "NAVTEQ is impressed with the caliber of submissions received and anticipates a robust judging event and awards ceremony at CTIA in Orlando."
The 16 semifinalists will be judged by an elite panel of executives from wireless carriers, hardware and device manufacturers, industry analysts and venture capital firms in the wireless industry. NAVTEQ will name one winner per solution category, presenting each with $10,000 cash and $75,000 in NAVTEQ data licenses for up to one year. Of the category winners, one will be designated the Grand Prize Winner, and receive $50,000 cash and $100,000 in NAVTEQ map data licenses for up to one year (in lieu of the category prize). In addition, many of the Global LBS Challenge sponsors, including Autodesk, deCarta, ESRI and KnowledgeWhere, are also offering cash and prizes to the winning submissions. The global prize pool is valued up to an unprecedented $2 million. All winning applications will be announced at the NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge Awards Ceremony at CTIA Wireless 2007 -- 3 pm on March 28, 2007, in Orange County Convention Center's Valencia Ballroom.
About Smarter Agent
Smarter Agent(R) is creating a communication revolution by combining the powerful capabilities of mobile location based services (of which GPS is the most well-known technology) with real estate content about properties, neighborhoods and interesting places around you. CTIA, the telecommunications industry association, named Smarter Agent the Winner in its Emerging Technology Awards LBS/GPS category. Smarter Agent has been awarded 3 patents governing the use of GPS and location-based services in the real estate vertical.
For more information, visit http://www.smarteragent.com.
NAVTEQ is a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices, Internet-based mapping applications, and government and business solutions. NAVTEQ creates the digital maps and map content that power navigation and location-based services solutions around the world. The Chicago-based company was founded in 1985 and has approximately 2,200 employees located in 144 offices in 27 countries.
NAVTEQ and Global LBS Challenge is a trademark in the U.S. and other countries. (C) 2007 NAVTEQ. All rights reserved.
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