Points of Interest: September 23, 2004

Caller Location ID. A new service from Verizon dubbed "iobi" allows call forwarding, text messaging and other goodies for those with or without computers. One geographic goody: users can see the location of an incoming call on their computer. How that works is not clear. I suspect landlines are relatively easy to pinpoint, but of course, cell phones, that's another story.

More Marketing for MapQuest. America Online's MapQuest has hired TBWA\Chiat\Day a big fancy advertising agency to build a branding campaign that will launch in the first half of next year. That company is behind the Apple iTunes and iPod campaigns. It's been very quiet on the marketing side of MapQuest of late. I think the company is losing ground to Microsoft and Yahoo Maps!.

Autodesk to Offer Cell Phone Tracking. Word today from Europe that come next week Autodesk will offer Autodesk Mobile Resource Manager. The product tracks employees via a cell phone. Autodesk envisions that the product will be hosted by wireless carriers and sold to small business for a few hundred dollars setup, but some small fee per tracking request. Another benefit? All locations are stored for a year, making them available for historical use. Is it me, is this offering just too late into an already crowded field? I found two different references to the new product. 1, 2

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.