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Positioning systems will provide aid more quickly


Positioning systems will become an essential tool for the carrying out of many different tasks in the future. Whether the problem consists of a tree falling on a power line or a car standing in the road with a motor failure, aid services will find a route straight to the right location by using this system.

It has previously been difficult for a person in need of aid to convey exact information about his location in an unfamiliar area. In future, the person can find his exact location with the aid of a GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite-positioning programme using his mobile phone. As soon as the location has been established, the information can be sent to another mobile phone or a portable computer, for example.

Three Finnish companies, Arbonaut Oy, Benefon Plc. and Genimap Oy participated in the EMANAS project within the framework of Tekes` TLX technology programme. The companies collaborated in developing a mobile positioning system suitable for a variety of purposes.

The fact that the communication server solution of Arbonaut combines text messages, WAP, GPRS and e-mails in positioning improves the application and operating potential of the positioning technology. For its part, Benefon developed a mobile phone that can be connected to a satellite positioning system. Genimap in turn delivers digitised map information to the system.

"The positioning system in its present form will primarily be suitable for professional use," states the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arbonaut, Mr. Tuomo Kauranne.

"In maintenance and repair work, for instance, the positioning system will become very useful. When a customer sends an error message to the company, there will be no need to call maintenance and repair personnel or to find the location of the customer on a conventional map. The company can trace the locations of mobile units via an Internet connection on his computer. When the address of the customer is fed into the same computer, the exact position will become visible on a digital map in a few seconds. The work order can then be sent to a maintenance or repair group closest to the customer`s position by using a conventional mobile or GPS phone."

"The positioning system will most probably become available for widespread consumer use in the year 2005 or 2006. More and more people nowadays spend an increasing amount of their workday away from their place of work and their customers and contact persons move around in the same way. It is often necessary to find the exact location of another person or to send information about one`s own location in order to agree on a meeting place or give route directions."

In March 2002, Arbonaut`s positioning communication application was awarded the first price in a European business competition arranged by British Telecom, in which more than 900 companies from all over Western and Central Europe participated

Pia Mörk | alphagalileo

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