SiRF Goes “Green” with Location Ecosystem and “Killer Enabler”

SiRF Goes "Green" with Location Ecosystem and "Killer Enabler"

At the premiere Location 2.0 Summit on October 23, SiRF Technology will roll out its “ecosystem” strategy for the location-based services (LBS) community, enabled by a set of SiRF-designed development tools, a test environment, and marketing support from the GNSS chip and software manufacturer.

At the premiere Location 2.0 Summit on October 23, SiRF Technology will roll out its “ecosystem” strategy for the location-based services (LBS) community, enabled by a set of SiRF-designed development tools, a test environment, and marketing support from the GNSS chip and software manufacturer.

The centerpiece of the initiative is SiRFstudio, a “superset” of JSR-179, the Java Specification Request application programming interface (API) for J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition) software development. According to the company, SiRFstudio is designed help software developers create APIs for accessing location capabilities across multiple devices, operating systems, location technologies, and content providers.

Those are the same audiences that SiRF is bringing together in its event.

Founded in 1995, SiRF has distinguished itself as visionary promoter of downstream end-user applications in the LBS space, even though its business is built around OEM products and services marketed to device manufacturers, product designers, and system integrators. SiRF co-founder and marketing vice-president Kanwar Chadha says the “ecosystem” initiative seeks to accelerate the deployment of LBS applications by creating “an enabling platform and unifying framework for application development.”

“Three to four years ago, people were complaining that GPS wasn’t on the platform, Chadha says. “Now GPS is there; so, the question becomes, how do you make the consumer experience of location very ‘out-of-the-box.’  The GPS navigation app is on board, but it’s not linked to the rest of your device’s native applications,” such as the address book or calendar functions.

It’s not about finding the GPS “killer app,” Chadha says, but about location as the “killer enabler.” That requires a “convergence of context, connections, and content,” he says.

The SiRF location ecosystem also includes SiRFsandbox, a test environment hosted on a dedicated SiRF server available to SiRFstudio developers to do end-to-end evaluations of their devices, services, or applications to accelerate time to market. As part of the deal, SiRF will also provide co-marketing assistance — what he calls “locative media marketing” — to their customers.

Chadha says the ecosystem concept and program has evolved over the last three to four years, stemming from the intensive support SiRF engineers have had to provide customers without a background in location technologies.

SiRF works with about 140 location application developers, but Chadha expects that community to grow rapidly if SiRFstudio catches on. The company’s hope is that SiRFstudio will be built into mobile devices by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), providing a standardized environment they can use to location-enable their native applications and create an “out-of-the-box locative experience” for users while making location information on their devices easily accessible to the global software development community.

Featured speakers at Location 2.0 Summit include, among others, Cheryln Chin, Corporate Vice President Multimedia Products & Experiences within Motorola’s Mobile Devices business; Michael Jones is the chief technologist of Google’s Earth, Maps, and Local Search activities; and Andrew M. Seybold, founder and senior partner of Andrew Seybold, Inc., analyst, consultant, commentator and author on mobile wireless innovation.

© Copyright Gibbons Media & Research LLC, 2007 

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