Original Publication Date: 2004-Jul-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jul-07
Soon a mobile phone users´ location will be available to be utilized for informative and advertisement purposes. How will an advertiser reach most users in its area? How will users protect themselves against unwanted advertisements whilst enabling interesting commercial information?
This solution is a business model which solves a problem that will occur in the future. To better understand the nature of this problem a brief introduction of the so called "location based services" is needed.
Currently a very fastly developing technology, location based services (LBS) will be used by everyone in the future on a daily basis. LBSs are a range of services which can be provided from a mobile network provider or associated companies to the user of a mobile interconnected device such as a mobile phone or a pda. As the name itself implies, these services are offered to the mobile users by using information on their location. Nowadays in fact, it is possible for mobile providers to retrieve the position of a customer whenever he/she connects the mobile device to the network. This can be done through triangulation techniques or GPS systems embedded in the devices.
Once the provider knows the position of the customer, it can offer the user information related to the position like for example: - the position of the nearest gas station, or ATM - the optimal path to a certain address taking into account road blocks - request for assistance by providing this position to the nearest AAA road service - provide suggestions on the restaurant in the area
If this positioning data would be passed to retail companies, they would be able to send information to the users about: - an offer going on in a store close to him/her - availability of the parking places in a nearby parking garage - the presence of a fast food restaurant in the vicinity
Of course the position information has a number of privacy issues: not every user wants others to provide information about his/her positioning. Nevertheless, users might be interested in allowing certain companies to have access to this information in case this turns to their advantage.
For the user the problem is therefore to: - provide information on the position only to the companies he/she wants to receive the information - receive information based on his/her preferences (for example only the local clothing stores with discounts, or the local parking places For the company the problem is to: - connect to a number of telecom providers to receive the information of customers from each provider - host the systems needed to use this information and provide the customer with the services like path optimization.
The location broker acts as an intermediary by providing customers and users information about each
other while still maintaining the privacy of the users. The location broker (LB) acts as a link between the two parties by: - give the users informations about several different opportunities in the areas: from cinemas, to restaurants to stores
- provide the users with the location based services such as route optimization and road assistance
- agree with the users which companies are allowed to receive the positioning information, and under which conditions - prov...