Google software tracks mobile phone location

Hotel News - 05/02/2009

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Google has launched a new online service that tracks people by their mobile phone signal and locates them on a computer map - in an introduction of ‘digital scenting’ technology to the public for the first time.

The online giant’s Latitude service is available at no cost in the US, the UK and in 24 other countries, but initially only with certain types of phones and networks.

Logistics providers and the military have used the technology for years. What Latitude does is to plot the location of a user on a Google map through the use of global positioning systems, mobile phone masts and wi-fi connections.

Each user can decide who will be permitted to monitor their movements.

In the beginning, Latitude will work only on BlackBerries and other devices that run either Symbian software or Windows Mobile. Some T-1 Mobile phones that run Google's Android software will also work in the initial launch. Eventually, it should be compatible with Apple's iPhone and iTouch as well.

Google will also be offering a version to run on personal computers to widen Latitude’s appeal.

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