RealTime IT News

XYPOINT Plans Mobile Phone Business Location Service

XYPOINT, a provider of phone location and wireless Internet services, signed a partner deal with business-finder service company Vicinity Corp. that will let consumers receive retail and service provider locations and driving directions on any wireless phone.

The service works on any analog or digital handsets used by the nation's 85 million wireless consumers, XYPOINT said, and will automatically detect the location of the caller and use it as the center of the search.

The technology will bring consumers location-relevant information via a voice user interface blended with text messaging. The will give consumers turn-by-turn driving directions to participating retailers and services, such as the nearest gas station, hotel, coffee shop, ATM, or pizza restaurant. Consumers also can search for the nearest locations selling brand name products.

Financial arrangements between the companies were not disclosed.

Just last week, XYPOINT announced a partnership with AltaVista to deliver its free wireless Internet service called WebWirelessNow. The XYPOINT -- Vicinity partnership will enable AltaVista to provide consumers with location relevant AltaVista content. Vicinity also provides AltaVista Shopping.com's comparison-shopping guide with its BrandFinder technology.

"Now, consumers can look for directions to the nearest ATM, gas station, restaurant or hotel via their wireless phone." said Ken Arneson, president and CEO of XYPOINT. "Our superior ability to merge mobile location, wireless, and the Internet with consumer-focused applications enable us to deliver services people really will use."

The service will initially roll out in major metro markets during the second quarter of 2000. XYPOINT and Vicinity will offer wireless carriers and brand name retailers the opportunity to provide consumers the ability to find nearby businesses and get turn-by-turn directions through a voice user interface.