March 26, 2009

Opera Browser w/ Skyhook Wireless Position Function

I have always been a big fan of Skyhook Wireless' technology. These guys powered the iPhone/Google Maps faux-GPS technology using WiFi address to triangulate your approximate location. I just received word today that Opera Browser will team up with Skyhook wireless to enable Geolocation API suuport which allows you to provide your location to websites; enabling customized content based on your whereabouts.

The first thing that comes to my mind was that how is this different than using my LAN IP address to get my geo-location? I am guessing Skyhook's technology differs in that it can hone in closer to your true location since there are way more WiFi IP addresses scanned in their DB. Take a look below for my comparison.

Using my Statcounter account, I can identify myself as being in New York when I visited my blog (first pic below), however, when using my first gen. iPhone's Google Map locate me service, it pin-pointed to the corner of 35th Street and 7th Avenue (where I am!).

This technology will enable some vendors or retailers to provide up to the minute inventory or location based services to help consumers make a sound decision on where to go.

Keep in mind that this is currently available for Opera's desktop browser. I hope to see this feature make its way to the Opera mobile browsers.

Correction: I was explained that this technology will be available on mobile browsers as well. Nice!