MapQuest Inc., Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM, TSX: RIM) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced new group communication functionality for "MapQuest Find Me." The GPS-enabled wireless service is now available on the BlackBerry 7520(TM) Wireless Handheld, operating on the Nextel National Network.
"MapQuest Find Me" lets users automatically find their location, access maps and directions and locate nearby points of interest including airports, hotels, restaurants, banks and ATMs. "MapQuest ® Find Me" now allows users to share their location with colleagues, friends and family members as well as view the location of other users who have opted to join their private networks. Users also can now set up alerts to be notified when network members arrive or depart from a designated area.
"Location-based solutions are an important arena for MapQuest, and we are thrilled to introduce this exciting new group communication functionality to 'MapQuest Find Me,'" said Austin Klahn, chief technology officer for MapQuest, Inc. "This development, along with the availability of 'MapQuest Find Me' on the Blackberry 7520, will help us further meet our goal to deliver innovative, more intelligent mapping solutions to our users, wherever they may be."
Sprint customers using the Blackberry 7520 from Nextel can take advantage of the walkie-talkie technology along with support for wireless email, phone, organizer, Internet browser and corporate data applications. "MapQuest Find Me" complements these applications with intelligent, location-aware maps and directions.
"'MapQuest Find Me' is a good example of how the wireless data industry is evolving to support a wide array of applications beyond email and adding incremental layers of productivity and flexibility for users and companies," said Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing at Research In Motion. "The BlackBerry 7520 on the Nextel National Network, with its integrated GPS capabilities, large color screen, easy navigation and optimized performance, is ideal for the 'MapQuest Find Me' application."
"As more and more people understand how location-based services can enhance their quality of life, we will continue to see the demand for unique variations of this technology," said Mary Foltz, director of product management and development for Sprint. "We have a long-standing relationship with MapQuest and RIM and are pleased to extend this technology to our customers. The new 'MapQuest Find Me' service is another example of Sprint's leadership in the GPS space, and we will continue to include it in our portfolio of wireless data solutions."
The new functionality of "MapQuest Find Me" includes:
** Location-Based Group Communication: Create private networks where other "MapQuest Find Me" users, such as colleagues, friends and family members, can opt-in to exchange and share their current locations. Users can find their network members on a buddy list-type feature and view their locations on a map, right on their wireless device or online at a private web site.
** Alerts & Notifications: Set up alerts to be notified via SMS or email when users (who opt-in to share their location) arrive or depart from a designated area
In addition to these new features, "MapQuest Find Me" continues to offer:
** Automatic Location Reporting: Leverage GPS technology to easily identify your current location without manually entering an address, ZIP code or other information.
** Points of Interest Locator: Find hotels, conference centres, banks, restaurants, theaters and other points of interest based on their proximity to your current location or any U.S. address.
** Interactive Maps and Driving Directions: Get interactive maps and text-based turn-by-turn directions to any destination in the United States.
** Convenient Address Book: Store addresses or points of interest to save time when you need directions again. Update your Address Book on the Web and automatically refresh information on your wireless device.
** Peace of Mind: Send your location as a text message to trusted colleagues, friends and family members or allow them to view your location on a private web site.
"MapQuest Find Me" is a part of the offerings provided and marketed through the AOL Mobile Group. "MapQuest Find Me" was developed in partnership between MapQuest and uLocate. For more information on how to subscribe to "MapQuest Find Me," go to http://findme.mapquest.com or call (877) 898-3555.