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Friday, August 22, 2008

lastminute.com first to incorporate the new mobile Google Gears Geolocation service

Customers can now use Google Gears from the new lastminute.com fonefood restaurant search service on Windows Mobile phones to find nearby restaurants.

The new geolocation service announced today as part of Google Gears allows users to determine their location, enabling the fonefood service to display nearby restaurants and deals.

The Google Geolocation API determines location using either nearby cell towers (from a mobile device) or a computer's IP address. The service is provided for free to both developers and users.

fonefood is the latest beta service launched by lastminute.com labs, allowing mobile users to search and book restaurants across 12 European countries.

The fonefood service, with Google Gears, is ideal for holidaymakers as they don’t need to type in their location to find local restaurants.

lastminute.com Head of Innovation Marko Balabanovic said: “The user’s location is a key part of the context that will enable better mobile travel experiences.

“We are very excited that Google gave us the chance to integrate Gears for Windows Mobile. Determining locations on the mobile internet has been a difficult problem for a long time and this is a great solution that works very well for the user without leaving their browser.”

Google product manager Charles Wiles said, "Location is increasingly important to people using the web, especially on their mobiles. lastminute.com's fonefood is a great example of the innovative location-aware applications that Gears makes possible."

To access fonefood, go to m.lastminute.com/fonefood on your mobile or text fonefood to 85959 in the UK.

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