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Skyhook Wireless announced a series of partnerships that bring location awareness to online applications. These include Krillion, Yahoo! Fire Eagle and CitySquares, to name a few. They’ll each use the location awareness of PCs and laptops (via Wi-Fi signal) for different forms of geotargeting and smarter content delivery.

This is a step beyond mobile apps, where the discussion of location awareness usually focuses (Skyhook’s iPhone app profiled here). The saturation and adoption of Wi-Fi has reached the point where there is an opportunity to pinpoint and target nodes on a wide-scale level, with much more accuracy than that afforded by IP address.

This brings capability for opt-in location-based services in a number of use cases (think laptop-equipped business travelers looking for somewhere to eat). Local search already exists in a lot of these use cases, but location awareness enables opt-in and personalized preferences to which users are actively alerted when geographically relevant.

In other words, it makes local search smarter and opens the door for lots of new applications for these partners and more that will likely follow.


Skyhook Director of Consumer Products Ryan Sarver will speak tomorrow at Where 2.0. Check it out if you’re at the show.

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