GPS Phone Software Could Have Broader Applications

June 23, 2005 · by DesignIntelligence

Time and gas are precious now. A University of Minnesota student's thesis project could save both.

Time and gas are precious now. A University of Minnesota student's thesis project could save both.

Place Mail uses a cell phone loaded with a GPS to allow the user to program reminders triggered when he/she comes within a half-mile radius of the place where the errand needs to be done.

It could be as low-priority as returning a movie. Or you could remind yourself to pick your dog up at the vet on the way home, as opposed to remembering after you pull into the driveway.

Ph.D. student Pam Ludford plans to test the software with local residents this summer, with those ages 25 and over. Plans also include the ability to plug reminders into other user's phone: i.e.; your spouse can have your phone beep and deliver a place-based message, too.

Another component would provide a general, time-based appointment reminder. At the moment, phones with a strong enough signal and GPS systems are a rarity, as are service providers who allow additional software programming.

The beta system uses Motorola and Nextel. Ludford hopes to have her degree work completed and apply for a patent by 2007.

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