Sprint Opens Platform for Location-Based Service Developers

Sprint is enhancing its open development approach by partnering with location aggregation platforms Veriplace by WaveMarket and Where by uLocate Communications to help developers create new location-based services. The deal offers third-party mobile and wireless, Web, WAP, SMS and widget developers a consistent way to create applications that use the customer's location information to provide customized information and services, Sprint says.

Sprint said Dec. 17 it is expanding its open network approach by partnering with location aggregators WaveMarket and uLocate Communications to aid third-party developers interested in location-based services. The effort, Sprint said, would reduce developers' difficulties in certifying applications that use GPS, triangulation and other location services.

Veriplace, WaveMarket's location aggregation platform, was built using the same privacy and security model that Sprint uses for its family locator service. Sprint also already has a partnership with uLocate, providing Sprint customers with a number of LBS applications.

Both platforms will provide third-party developers ways to add LBS services to their applications, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) sites, widgets and SMS (Short Message Service) campaigns through a Web services API.

Click here to read about Mozilla Labs' Geode geolocation add-on.

"The privacy and security of our users is the highest priority to us," Len Barlik, vice president of Sprint's wireless and wire-line services, said in a statement. "Both platforms have powerful but intuitive privacy systems that ensure [that] the appropriate permissions are obtained prior to accessing location information."

WaveMarket's Veriplace allows users to protect their location data regardless of the technology used to locate them. The Veriplace platform allows developers to build applications without having to certify each application on a case-by-base basis. In September, Navteq, which provides digital map data for location-based solutions and vehicle navigation, announced it would feature the Veriplace platform across Navteq's developer network.

"Trust, privacy and control are all core to Veriplace," said WaveMarket CEO Tasso Roumeliotis.

Where, uLocate's platform, allows GPS-enabled users to find news, entertainment, and restaurants and other locations. With its library of LBS widgets, uLocate signed a deal in September with Quattro Wireless to target and serve iPhone owners through a location-based advertising service.

Walt Doyle, CEO of uLocate, said in a statement, "As an aggregator for the Sprint network, we are extending the breadth and depth of LBS to more developers who want to create applications for Sprint subscribers."