Twelve applications from eleven companies have made it to the finals of the India region of the NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge 2010, which seeks to award interesting location based service applications and services. Unfortunately, the information released by NAVTEQ on these applications is fairly brief, and we haven’t received any response to our request for more info. So, if your application has been listed, please do feel free to share more details with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications selected for the finals cover GPS based carpooling, location specific advertising, a location empowered hobby network, and even a loo locator.
— Mega Car Pool: allows users to carpool on defined routes. Users have to define routes for their daily commute, and are connected with others on the same route. For example, for the route South Extension to Cyber City in DLF Phase II in Gurgaon. All users are verified (like in case of a passport, a physical verification is required) and have to register their residential proof, driving license, photo identity proof (voter ID card/passport), or a work email ID. The car owner is given a smart card and GPS device for tracking. The more the lifts that they give to other Mega Car Pool members, the more the points they earn, which can be redeemed for taking lifts from others. Users can choose the type of person they want to carpool with, through a search engine based on Route, Location, Gender, Time, other locations, and even smokers/non-smokers. I wonder if this will really work, though: too much effort required, just to carpool. Also, what happens if a GPS tracker is stolen?
— NewsHunt-Local: Sounds like an upgraded version of Rediff funded Eterno Infotech’s excellent NewsHunt application incorporating location-based advertising with the news application. NewsHunt supports Indic Languages, and offers content from many publications: Andhraprabha, Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Deccan Herald, Dinamalar, Dinamani, Divya Bhaskar, Eenadu, Kannada Prabha, Lok Satta, Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Navajyoti, Prajavani, Sakal, The Indian Express and The New Indian Express.
— Looloca: an interesting Android based application developed by Ninad Majumdar, that allows users to tag loos (restrooms/washrooms) in their vicinity; helps those looking for a loo, when they need to go. Crowdsourcing loo’s…who’d have thunk it. I guess, another feature that Majumdar could consider, is rating these loos, for the discerning ones among us.
Travel Related Apps:
— Taxi Seeker: is an application that allows users to log on and search for the closest available taxi. This app has been submitted by Mumbai based television production company Optimystix Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd., which had also applied for Qualcomm’s QPrize. Going through their website, there’s no information on their LBS business, if at all it exists.
— Why2Wait:allows users to trace the route and arrival time of buses and the availability of cabs in their vicinity through their mobile phones.
In case of both these apps, we’d like to know more about the cities they cover, and how exactly they get to know about availability of cabs in the vicinity. Other apps in the reckoning:
— Hobby Lobby: an interesting take on mobile based social networking, this application from Noida based Ariose Software tries to connect individuals with similar interests, in a particular location. We think an application like this will have issues with scaling because a hobby based social network appears to segment the user base too fine…then again, we haven’t been able to try the app.
— mSurvey: Also from Ariose Software, mSurvey allows users to gather information (text, image, video, voice) in a structured manner, tagged with location-specific metadata. Note that Ariose does have software for mobile forms and reports.
— mCouponStore: a couponing product from Bizense, which allows users to find coupons on the basis of location and preferences
— HotDeals from Noida: HotDeals is a mobile-based service that pushes deals to the user based on a specified wish list and current location.
— GenesysGolf: from Mumbai based Genesys International Corp, this app for GPS-enabled smartphones apparently eliminates the need for golfers to separately carry a range finder device.
— Marathon Master from Its4Solutions provides live statistical feedback to help marathon runners improve their performance while training and while running the marathon.
— Child Tracker from Max Mobility is a GPS and RFID based bus tracking and child safety solution for parents.