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Catchnet - Putting Internet Services In The Hands Of The Consumer

CatchNet has a flexible range of customisation options - including GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee, NFC, GPS, VoIP, environmental and other sensors such as accelerometers - and can be customised to deliver an almost limitless range of online applications to consumers via novel devices.
by Staff Writers
Cambridge, UK (SPX) Dec 17, 2008
Imagine a key-fob device that could warn a commuter of congestion on their usual route home from work, and another that could quickly lead a hungry socialite on a night out to the nearest highly rated seafood restaurant.

These, and many more potential applications are now possible with 'CatchNet', a new custom internet-enabled device platform to be launched by Cambridge Consultants at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 8-11 January 2009.

The CatchNet platform enables companies to realise their online services in unique and compelling ways, linking their brands to memorable and fun user experiences, and moving us one step closer to the 'internet of things'.

The low cost, low power technology is designed to internet-enable single purpose devices and allow two-way interaction between the user and an online application.

For the online service provider, CatchNet offers the opportunity to extend their reach into non-smartphone savvy demographic groups and traditionally offline areas of their consumers' lives.

For the consumer, devices developed on the CatchNet platform have the potential to provide seamless, ubiquitous access to their favourite online services where and when they are needed most.

Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating two novel potential applications for CatchNet at the Consumer Electronics Show. The first - 'WhichWay' - could make a significant difference to millions of commuters' journeys at the beginning and end of their working days.

It is a key-fob style screen-less concept product that connects to the internet via Bluetooth and a mobile phone's 3G or GPRS link, and which can be pre-programmed with a user's usual route between their home and workplace. Featuring a simple user interface, the device indicates the level of congestion on the route and allows the user to choose whether to delay their departure or take an alternative route.

This small but highly valuable piece of information could make all the difference to the user's journey.

The second conceptual application for the CatchNet platform is the 'GuidingStar'. Featuring a screen, GPS functionality and digital compass, this pocket or purse device would allow a user to browse for a nearby bar, restaurant, club or cinema while out shopping or with friends, review independent peer rankings from other users, and then be 'led' to their selected venue using the novel and fun user interface.

At the end of the night, the device would ask for their own ranking of the venue, which would in turn enrich the user-community.

Duncan Smith, Head of Consumer Product Development at Cambridge Consultants said, "As the boundaries between the online and offline worlds become increasingly blurred, there are exciting opportunities for online service providers to reach out and place their service directly into their customers' hands. Current channels for mobile internet like smartphones, laptops and web-enabled feature phones are fast becoming overcrowded with applications, something most users find off-putting. Indeed, research suggests that mobile phone users are utilising only very small amounts - as little as 15% - of the data available to them in their contracts. This is bandwidth that can and should be exploited. Devices developed on the CatchNet platform can use this available bandwidth to allow a service to be there with the consumer at just the right moment, in the most simple, fun and addictive way."

CatchNet has a flexible range of customisation options - including GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee, NFC, GPS, VoIP, environmental and other sensors such as accelerometers - and can be customised to deliver an almost limitless range of online applications to consumers via novel devices.

Smith concludes, "Whether your service is ubiquitous like Facebook or just starting out, CatchNet could help put it into the hands of your consumers at a previously impossible cost point. Cambridge Consultants' turnkey rapid product development service and full IP portfolio allows innovative online service providers to develop fast-to-market revolutionary devices that bring their online services to life for consumers in 2009."

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Intermap Technologies Partners With Lowrance To Provide AccuTerra GPS Maps
Denver CO (SPX) Dec 17, 2008
Intermap Technologies have announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Lowrance, a leader in outdoor navigation and wholly-owned brand of Navico Holding AS to offer AccuTerra maps for the Brand's enhanced outdoor GPS devices.

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