Quick Take-Autodesk Location Services Targets Developers in New Outreach Program

By Joe Francica

Autodesk Location Services has launched a developer program for the company’s LocationLogic, a location-based services platform. Kathryn Rose, director of strategic planning and operations for Autodesk Location Services, commented in an interview recently that Autodesk's strategy is to create a portfolio of applications for carriers to sell to their users. "It's not about building a brand to market (Autodesk) directly to users. We will provide marketing materials to carriers, like Sprint, to market the product that targets the end user."

Autodesk will offer guidance to developers and technical support for applications with LocationLogic. Autodesk LocationLogic’s server components are implemented in Java in the J2EE architecture. Autodesk selected this architecture in order to support a wide variety of clients, including BREW, J2ME and J2SE.The program’s objective is to help developers deliver commercially viable applications and an understanding of how to build them with LocationLogic. The program will provide a hosted environment during the development and testing stages. In some cases, Autodesk will help developers approach carriers with new applications. The company's success in specifically targeting carriers has given them insights into the current marketing conditions.

So, is the market ready for location-based services and are carriers embracing LBS as something for which they are willing to pay? "The level of activity and the investments being made by the carriers in geospatial and LBS is significant, especially in infrastructure and in handset development," said Rose. "As a member in the value chain, I've never seen this level of interest.” This value chain includes content providers, like NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas, with which Autodesk has established relationships. Autodesk also participates as a member of the standards bodies which directly affect LBS, including the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), which manages the OpenLS standard, and the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), which drives the Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) and related specifications.

Autodesk was recently selected by Verizon to provide the common services platform for any LBS application that Verizon will deliver. Any application provider wishing to approach Verizon with a unique service will be required to use Autodesk's LocationLogic platform. Verizon validated this decision at the recently completed Brew conference. Currently, Verizon offerings of applications using the LocationLogic platform include:
  • VZ Navigator - a personal navigation system for finding points of interest and the location of contacts from an address book, available on the Motorola V325, LG 9800 (The V), Motorola RAZR*, and the Samsung a930.
  • Field Force Manager - an enterprise solution targeted at small- to medium-sized businesses with mobile employees, which also offers navigation and a mobile timecard.
There are currently 150 registered developers in the developer program. More information can be found here.

Published Saturday, July 8th, 2006

Written by Joe Francica

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