Location-based reminders with Geominder 04 Aug 2005

26 comments Latest by JOE

When we think reminders, we usually think times. Remind me at 6pm. Remind me on Monday. Don’t forget to remind me tomorrow! These are usually good enough, but what about location-based reminders? What about getting a reminder on your cell phone to “Buy orange juice” when you pass the market or “Call Bill” right when you get to your office?

An interesting new app for Symbian Series 60 phones called Geominder does just that. And it doesn’t require GPS, it uses cell tower IDs to determine where you are. Very clever and very useful. Great idea and well executed.

26 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Peter Cooper 04 Aug 05

Very cool! But that could make driving around your small town pretty interesting.. :) I still like the thinking though. I wonder how similar thinking could spread into the online world.

Dan Boland 04 Aug 05

Somehow, that kinda creeps me out. I get it’s because physical location is more personal than a place in time. I mean, it’s brilliant, but a little too weird for me.

Mark 04 Aug 05

Actually, some of you might remember the book Blur from several years ago.

It discussed this same thing, but from the advertising angle. Examples they cite included getting within say a 5 mile radius of a mall and getting red-tag sale type ads on your cell.

It’d be cool to be reminded of stuff as you cite, but I think it would be a drag to be bombarded with geo-based advertising - which you know will be the next thing.

Dan Boland 04 Aug 05

That should be “guess,” not “get.”

Christopher Fahey 04 Aug 05

Great idea! When I learn about a good new restaurant or store, I’ve always wanted to be able to have something like this, saying “You’re right near that place you wanted to check out”.

Cuturally, it would be great to know about historic sites, art galleries, etc, that I may be walking by on my day to day journeys. Things that are informal enough that it would only take a few minutes out of my day to visit.

This is especially useful, I’d imagine, for urban dwellers. But only if the “resolution” of the system was very high - that is, on a block-by-block basis, using the cel “repeater” towers and not the subnetworks they share. A 5-mile radius in New York City would include tens of thousands of stores, restaurants, etc, whereas in the rest of the country it might only include a few hundred or less.

Imagine also doing this ahead of time: telling your georeminder system what route you’ll be taking (for example on a walk to work or a bike ride or even a drive) and it would tell you what stuff you will pass along the way that you might be interested in.

Integration with GPS? With Google and Google Maps? Working in some collaborative filtering? Lots of potential here.

John Revel 04 Aug 05

I assume this uses UTDOA (e911). I may be wrong, but UTDOA is only efficient in cities since there are multiple antennas in close proximity. Does this sound correct?

I really thought there would be more companies taking advantage of this.

Ryan M 04 Aug 05

The only drawback I can see is that the system relies soley on being somewhere in order to be reminded. What if you don’t pass the market? You’ll probably end up at home with no orange juice.

I suppose they could double up and also send a timed reminder based on a “no later than” time.

Chris Tingom 04 Aug 05

What happened to writing reminders on paper?

Peter Cooper 04 Aug 05

I think it went the same way as writing a journal or diary privately on paper ;-)

kingbenny 04 Aug 05

What happened to writing reminders on paper?

Sorry, I find that question to be somewhat like asking, “What happened to riding horses around?” or “What was wrong with telegraphs?”

Eamon 04 Aug 05

What happened to monkeys?

Brad 04 Aug 05

Sorry, I find that question to be somewhat like asking, “What happened to riding horses around?” or “What was wrong with telegraphs?”

Except that in this case I think the question is legitimate. I mean, putting that reminder into your cellphone and entering the location has got to take a bit more effort than just jotting a note on paper. To me, this seems like a pretty inefficient use of technology; it’s like buying a computer to write shopping lists.

Remember Indiana Jones when he saw the sword-wielding Arab and started worrying about how he’d handle him with his whip? And then he remembered he had a pistol? I think I’d feel the same way with this: paper and pencil are the pistol in this case.

Chris Tingom 04 Aug 05

Yeah, I wasn’t trying to say other forms of writing notes and reminders are useless, I use some of them myself, but what I was saying was exactly what Brad said - there’s a point where you are wasting time. Maybe if you’re a 9 to 5 kind of person that doesn’t have a lot of responsibilities you can spend time like that.

Eamon 04 Aug 05

I find myself repeating this response over and over again: the advantage of a PDA or cellphone is that you always have it with you.

In my case, I always have my groceries list, my hardware store list, my book list, my music list, my movie rental list, et cetera. There’s no way I could keep track of all of it in my head, and carrying around a dozen slips of paper is just plain silly. It might take an extra 30 seconds to update a list on a PDA, but the fact that it’s there when you need is what makes it invaluable.

Mark 04 Aug 05

“…There’s no way I could keep track of all of it in my head…

I bet you could if you had to. Of course, with the plethora of devices available to do our thinking for us, we’ve gotten lazy.

A few here think we’ve become more intelligent and advanced - given the number who were able to solve the fish puzzle in a matter of minutes. A neat thought until you realize we need a series of cel repeater towers with high resolution to remind us to stop by the grocer to pick up some basic nourishment.

Of course, some of us used technology to solve that puzzle as well, so I wonder if we really are as smart and advanced as we’d like to think.

Mark 04 Aug 05

Ooops, forgot to close the quote tag.


RemindMeTo 04 Aug 05

Spank the monkey, while I’m in the shower…

Arjen 05 Aug 05

An alternative to Geominder is miniGPS which has no cute icons but more functionality, like cell grouping, switching phone profiles and setting time limits (workdays, 9-5).

Jorge Diogo 05 Aug 05

In fact Geominder has cell grouping - you can add any number of places (aka cell ids) to a location by doing “Set here as…”.
It also has an “Active after” setting which allows the location-based reminder to be active after a certain data&time, however it has no repeat functionality (workdays, 9-5 etc.).
In terms of other functionality, Geominder is more focused in the reminder part itself.

kingbenny 05 Aug 05

Well, I think writing notes on paper is fine, but the point is its not as extensible as using an application like this, if it actually works like it’s supposed to. And a piece of paper doesn’t exactly jump out of your pocket and remind you when you’re walking by someplace. Anyway, point taken.

Ben 06 Dec 05

Please open your mind: think of “WEB 2.0” features combining, e.g. collaborations. Share and add or import Tags from community people with same lifestyles. Explore your city with the knowledge of the community or make visits outside your city more comfortable with insider information.

Rich 23 Feb 06

this is a great app. but what would make it even better is if ludimate added a feature to upload location data to its site for users to share. it would be handy to have a downloadable list of useful locations such as town centres or train stations for example.
all i need now is a reminder to remind me to set a new location whenever I’m at a location worth saving!!!

andrew 23 Mar 06

Another similar product for the blackberry 7520 is Naggie, and it’s available at http://www.naggie.com

Ch Madana Gopala Swamy 29 Apr 06

This fecility is very useful and timely

Ch Madana Gopala Swamy 29 Apr 06

This fecility is useful and timely

JOE 21 May 06

Good Stuff. Is there any other programs like this? And also which are full versions?

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