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A spin-out from the ESA has launched a new mobile phone service that provides location-based information on shopping, entertainment, tourism and public transportation.


A spin-out from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Business Incubation Centre has launched a new mobile phone service that provides location-based information on shopping, entertainment, tourism and public transportation.
 
Dutch start-up communications company Mobzili’s service, which is called AllAroundMe, uses the precise location of a person to provide them with information on events, activities, public services and shopping opportunities in a nearby area.


‘The service also encourages local merchants to establish direct communication with potential consumers in a non-intrusive manner,’ said Reza Ladchartabi, co-founder of Mobzili, and one of the inventors of AllAroundMe.


To prevent information overload, users can specify their individual needs and interests in personalised profiles, which determine the information that will be displayed on their phones.


‘We have developed a system which combines data from navigation satellites with data from the mobile phone 3G network,’ explained Wojtek Chowanski, system developer and co-founder of Mobzili.


‘By doing this, we are able to establish the location of a person both outside a building, where GPS signals are received, and inside a building, where the last known GPS location is combined with 3G data and information about the environment, the movement of the user, and a propagation model that determines the best estimation of the user’s location.’


In the future, the company plans to use navigation data provided by Galileo, which it claims will be more accurate than GPS, to know with more precision where a user is located at any given time.