In the age of mobility, sharing your exact location with others can be made a lot easier. And this is exactly what !Waytag plans to do. The recent AIGS Progress Africa Conference, which focused strongly on the theme of mobility and its impact on both business and technology, introduced the waytag to fellow Progress software developers and business leaders. This free permanent “address” moves with users wherever they are and, according to the company, represents a new era of location-aware marketing and development.
Richard Firth, CEO of !Waytag, says that the company wanted to create a tool that would allow companies to speak to individuals on the move and optimise their customer service according to their location.
Waytags move with users wherever they are. This allows a user to create a waytag (e.g. !BobMobi) and then update their location to wherever they are. If Bob, for example, wants to meet someone at his favourite restaurant, they can simply look at his updated waytag and meet him there.
“This makes the app extremely useful in terms of things like road safety,” Firth says. “Someone that has broken down in an unknown area can simply update their waytag, and help can find them easily.”
Firth believes that waytags are a lot more practical than other geographic tracking systems, siting GPS systems that are dependent on a house numbering system that might not be correct. “Not to mention that countries like Ghana do not even make use of house numbers or street names. This allows the creation and sharing of accurate, single word references that can indicate where a business or person is located,” Firth said.
Furthermore, according to Firth, the potential of spatial information is still largely untapped. “There are companies who operate in the geospatial marketplace, but there is no sharing of data or collaboration. We’re trying to solve that issue. Businesses need to know where their customers are because their location impacts their needs. You can tailor-make your marketing message to customers according to their exact, up-to-date location.”
Rick Parry, MD of AIGS who provided the tech platform on which !Waytag was built, believes that waytag represents a fundamental shift in the marketplace. “Part of the reason software platforms such as ours are catering for mobility is because the geospatial market is the next big frontier, our next big mind shift. I believe it will impact us the same way the virtual revolution (i.e. websites and the internet) once did,” he says.