Nextel and Research In Motion (RIM) announced plans today at the Nextel Developers Conference to enable location-based services on the BlackBerry(R) platform.
RIM and Nextel are providing Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and developers with the comprehensive resources and environment to support location-enhanced applications including the GPS-enabled devices, network, services, infrastructure and development tools needed to create and deliver powerful mobile applications. This support allows developers to create new applications, incorporating navigation, location and tracking services together with the unique connectivity features of BlackBerry including always-on operation, push-based services, advanced security and back-end integration. Customers will also enjoy the combined power and benefits of wireless email, phone, Direct Connect Services, messaging, browser and GPS technologies in a single device.
"We believe that location-based services will add a complementary and powerful dimension to the BlackBerry experience and open many new opportunities for RIM and Nextel to engage and support customers and the development community," said Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing at Research In Motion. "The combination of location-based services and BlackBerry Mobile Data Service provide a particularly powerful foundation for developers to leverage and we believe a wide range of applications and solutions are suitable from navigation to fleet management to continuity planning to field service to supply chain management to public safety."
"The need to better manage company assets, combined with what is an increasingly mobile workforce makes location based services an important business requirement," said Danny Bowman, vice president, wireless data services, Nextel. "The combination of the BlackBerry handheld and location based services can help improve business efficiency by providing the ability to determine the location of employees, a company's vehicles and inventory."
To encourage design of location-based applications for the BlackBerry platform, RIM and Nextel are announcing a Nextel Java Developer Contest at the Nextel Developers Conference, December 9-10, in Miami. Developers can create location-based applications for the recently introduced, GPS-enabled BlackBerry 7520(TM).
Existing and new BlackBerry ISV Alliance partners have already started developing an array of applications that will include, but not be limited to, services that will provide:
- Navigation for audible and visual real-time driving directions
- Location data to locate company assets and field employees
- Tracking to better manage company vehicles and inventory and optimize routes with improved tracking and planning