London,UK — An innovative location-based service has become commercially available, which promises to extend people’s senses with a new geographical layer of information. TagandScan gives mobile users a “sixth sense” of information about their environment through their GPRS Java-enabled mobile phones. The service is available on any of the UK’s major mobile networks: Vodafone, Orange, O2 and T-Mobile.
Subscribers have access to public ‘grids’ of information visible to all TagandScan subscribers or an unlimited number of private grids that only the individual can see. Public grids enable users to see history, explanations, events, reviews and opinions of anything located in the physical world, which become available to users when they ‘scan’ for tags by proximity and keyword, then displaying the results on a map.
To leave their own mark on the virtual world, users ‘tag’ a location with their mobile phone, creating a digital record of the location, time, their thoughts and opinions, and even a picture – effectively leaving ‘digital Post-Its’ or ‘digital graffiti’ in the world around you. TagandScan users subsequently ‘scan’ to recall the information left by themselves or others at the touch of a button.
Significant benefits of the service include:
• Improving spatial memory: Whilst many people can forget how to get to a great bar, shop or restaurant that they have been to, TagandScan users can tag it, forget it and know they will always find it when they want. Users can build up a complete picture of the places they love best in the world around them
• Community development: Users can tag locations, anything from bars and shops through to national monuments, with a message, time and even a picture which they can then leave behind for the community – effectively creating the worlds first peer-to-peer guide book
• Public expression: Whilst graffiti is illegal, ‘digital graffiti’ is not – so users can freely express their opinions about anything about the world around them. And when words are not enough, because TagandScan public grids are a visual medium, they can become virtual art galleries filled with images of users’ art and expressions
Inventor of TagandScan Ryan Janssen commented: “I initially created this because I was always finding interesting places around my city, then never finding them again. I wanted some way of supplementing my own spatial memory so I could interact a bit more intelligently with my environment.”
TagandScan works over existing GPRS networks and users can register for free at www.tagandscan.com. Pre-purchased tags will sell at 25p each in £5 bundles or 20p in £20 bundles.