Interview with John Ellenby, CEO at GeoVector

GeoVector is a U.S. based company which provides “pointing” technologies based on compass and GPS. Between to travels in Japan - where its technology is used by a major wireless operator – John Ellenby, CEO at GeoVector, answered to our questions via email.

GPS Business News:
What is the business of GeoVector?
John Ellenby: GeoVector is a US company headquartered in San Francisco, California. We are providing “advanced pointing search” capability for location applications.

Pointing is a natural gesture that signals a request for information. We believe GeoVector’s pointing search method is a dynamic step forward in ease of use for a wide variety of location aware applications.

Thanks to GeoVector, users in Japan are now pointing their mobile phones at restaurants and getting reviews. Soon they will be pointing at billboards and going directly to the advertiser’s mobile site for shopping, and pointing at a movie poster to buy a ticket. Our system allows images, videos and sounds to be downloaded. Users can not just read about a point of interest, they have rich media experiences.

GPS BN: Who are your customers today?
JE: Phones enabled with our technology are now widely used throughout Japan via the KDDI network. We provide pointing-based local search service with Mapion (Japan’s leading location content provider) and NEC who provides system application and hosting support. We are also currently working with major carriers in the US and Europe and we expect pointing-based applications to be available in those regions by late 2008.

GPS BN: What are the main use cases today and what do you expect to see in a near future?
JE: The first tier of customers are those who use pointing daily as a useful tool to find retail establishments, ATM machines and to make their search for information and guidance more efficient. We have found that our customers use pointing services at all hours of day and night and are consistent about using pointing to help them find the things they need quickly and easily.

As new pointing driven applications appear, we expect to see customers using pointing location services to guide their vacation tours, to automatically label their pictures, to educate them about the world around them and to help them find the best deal when they are shopping. Soon we will also see people having uniquely entertaining experiences playing pointing games.

GPS BN: What is your business model?
JE: We want everyone to be able to experience the benefits of pointing. We believe pointing access to location applications will make them much more attractive to consumers. We have constructed a business model which is not unlike Google’s. Pointing access to general information will be free to the end user. GeoVector will share in the revenue generated by user solicited premium advertising and by licensing select vertical market applications.

GPS BN: Nokia has recently announced a phone with compass and GPS: it is good news for GeoVector?
JE: We are delighted that Nokia will be offering a phone with GPS and a compass. We have been working with handset manufacturers over the past few years to evangelize the benefits of compass-enabled phones. As I have mentioned this technology is already a reality today in Japan. Compass phones have been available there from Sony Ericsson, Kyocera and Casio. We believe this useful sensor will be found in all GPS phones in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, March 19th 2008

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