NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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10.04.2003

The VTT system retrieves services from the Internet open databases
A map on the mobile phone display also guides the user to the services

VTT has created the first system in the world to retrieve the services the user needs from Internet databases based on information on the user's location. The system can be used with a mobile phone, a microcomputer and other terminals. The system is able to locate mobile phone users and tell or show the route to the service on the screen of the phone. The system can be used anywhere in Finland.

A unique feature of the system is its ability to combine information from various sources. In the pilot trials these were produced by municipalities and companies as well as service directory providers Yellow Pages and Eniro.

Another major advantage is that location can be achieved with the GSM technology of any mobile phone operator and with satellite-based GPS method. Location is also possible when the user texts his/her location address to the system in order to find the nearest service.

The user can search services with a modern terminal, while the VTT system guides the user to the service
Photo: VTT

The VTT system was tested in many ways in the Turku area. The system's Internet portal was also connected to the Turku tourism services and information on events.

The breakdown service of the Automobile and Touring Club of Finland participated in the locating tests and were much impressed with the outcome. Using the car computer map the system located and guided the breakdown service agent to the person needing assistance. The search service provided contact information on the nearest towing and maintenance service.

"This was a great research project. We now know that Internet service information can be combined. The casual traveller can find the service he wants as he moves. Special interest in this potential has been expressed by the City of Turku, the Regional Council of South-West Finland and the subregions of Southern Finland. At first we aim to serve Turku and those travelling on route E18," says project manager Sirpa Simola, of the company ICT Turku Oy.

According to Ms. Simola it would indeed be possible martketize the VTT system, but there are many challenges. Compatibility of Internet service data demands standards. In Sweden the preparation of standards has advanced further, but there is not even an EU Directive for content. Moreover, in such a location-based search service there are many elements to be combined. Therefore the model for commercial activity is likely to be complex.

The VTT development work was funded by the NAVI Programme. The work was accomplished by VTT, Genimap Oy and Locus Portal Oy. Support was provided by Turku Science Park Oy in functions definition, content production and user trials.

Further information: http://www.vtt.fi/tte/rd/navisearch/


Photo: VTT

Photo: ICT Turku Oy
VTT Information Technology
Matti Penttilä, special researcher
Tel. +358  (0)9 456 6047
(0)40 552 9707
matti.penttila@vtt.fi

ICT Turku Oy
Sirpa Simola, Project Manager
Tel. +358 (0)50 557 0031
sirpa.simola@ictturku.com


Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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