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SiRF Unveils Strategy and Enabling Platform to Accelerate LBS Deployment
SiRF launch an ecosystem strategy to boost partner development activities.
SiRF has unveiled its SiRFecosystem strategy and introduced SiRFstudio, a standards-based, end-to-end location services enabling platform that is designed to simplify and speed the development and deployment of location-aware applications across a broad range of mobile devices. SiRFstudio holds the promise of creating a "locative experience" for users by making location an intrinsic and useful part of every mobile device, combining with and enhancing the native applications people use the most - from calling, messaging and browsing to address books, calendars and email - and making location more relevant to the real-world tasks and activities users engage in with their mobile devices. SiRFstudio supports SiRF's long term strategy for growth and is designed to expand LBS into mobile and wireless devices.

SiRFstudio is a superset of the JSR-179 location API, supporting multiple integrated development environments such as Java Wireless Toolkit 2.3, and offers software developers easily accessible, standard APIs for accessing location capabilities across multiple devices, operating systems and location technologies, allowing them to incorporate advanced location features without having to concern themselves with the underlying hardware or invest in implementing an end-to-end location solution. SiRFstudio can be built into mobile devices by OEMs and ODMs, providing a rich, standardized location environment they can use to location-enable their native applications and create a true, out-of-the-box locative experience for users while making location information on their devices easily accessible to the global software development community. Service providers can use SiRFstudio either locally or as a hosted solution to quickly launch multiple LBS applications and boost ARPUs while gaining the flexibility to seamlessly route geospatial data from multiple providers for true geospatial mobility server (GMS) roaming.

"As part of our overall SiRFecosystem strategy to accelerate the development of exciting new location aware applications and content, SiRFstudio provides one of the key missing link needed to bring the power of location to everything people do with their mobile devices,"
said Kanwar Chadha, founder and vice president of marketing for SiRF. "By providing a complete enabling platform and a unifying framework for application development, we can help accelerate the deployment of location enabled services, furthering our vision of bringing the benefits of location technology to billions of consumers worldwide."

Several SiRFstudio Alpha Partners are currently developing a broad range of new location-aware applications for the SiRFstudio platform. These partners include Econz Wireless, a leading developer of innovative and pragmatic wireless solutions for the small-to-medium sized business(SMB) market; LOC-AID Technologies, a premier provider of wireless location-based aggregation; locr GMBH, experts in geo-tagged photography and creators of the www.locr.com photo-sharing Web 2.0 platform; Socialight, creators of a location-based community platform that keeps users connected through geo-tagged virtual sticky notes; and Spime, Inc., a leading provider of location intelligence solutions and creators of NorthStar, a mobile local search and personal navigation application for mobile phones.

Today the revenues wireless service providers receive for voice services far exceed those they receive for data services. In contrast, in the U.S. and many other countries, wire-line data revenues already exceed voice revenues, and wireless service providers are understandably eager to close this gap. SiRF believes wireless data revenues will follow a similar trend, and that location will be a key contributor in closing this revenue gap by providing the "critical context" to mobile content.

SiRFstudio is part of the SiRFecosystem, a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to speed development, testing, deployment and marketing of LBS applications that drive higher ARPUs and provide a compelling locative experience for users. More than one hundred companies worldwide are already participating in the SiRFecosystem LBS developer community, creating unique LocativeMediaTM applications and services.

The Myth of the Killer App
According to Chadha, a busy person reminded about a 2 o'clock appointment by their mobile device's native calendar application does not want to be bothered opening a separate turn-by-turn navigation application and re-entering the address that's already in their calendar or address book to get directions. Instead, the on-the-go mobile user would like to simply click on the reminder and get directions from their current location. Getting directions or locating a buddy from the address book should be just as easy; the to-do list should alert the user to pick up some milk when they are near the grocery; and a photo taken with the built-in camera should be tagged automatically with the location and be searchable by location.

"Many in the LBS industry have been searching for the 'killer app' that will ignite consumer interest in LBS applications, but we have to look at location as a "killer enabler" that would impact all our applications and content," said Chadha. "Consumers would like to see the power of location be used to make their lives easier by enhancing the things they already do with their mobile devices. To achieve this, they need an out-of-the-box locative experience where location permeates everything they do with their mobile device."
Chadha believes success will come through the integration of such a locative experience across multiple applications. This can be achieved by "platforming" the location context on mobile devices through an open, standardized set of location APIs and services that all applications can use on all mobile devices - something made possible by SiRFstudio. With SiRFstudio, location applications developers can reduce their time to market and service providers will be able to more quickly offer consumers a wider choice of LBS applications that are easy to get and easy to use, and deliver a rich locative experience right out of the box on any new mobile device.
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