Sprint has been taking location pretty seriously lately, incorporating location-aware features into its 4G Xohm WiMAX network before handing it off to Clearwire, and now launching an ‘open location platform’ for developers. The new platform, provided by uLocate Communications and WaveMarket’s VeriPlace, is intended to encourage developers to create location-based applications for Sprint phones by providing a standard set of location APIs while at the same time keeping customer data private.
Having a standardized platform to work with is great for developers–it makes coding a location-based application consistent across Sprint handsets while eliminating a portion of the red-tape developers typically face when attempting to have an application included directly on a handset. It’s great for consumers as well because they never have to worry about their data being used inappropriately; only the necessary location data needed for the application is used. In addition, the customer has to opt-in to have their data used in the first place.
Sprint has an existing partnership with uLocate, developer of the popular WHERE application, that allows Sprint customers easy access to all kinds of WHERE widgets. Sprint’s use of VeriPlace is new, but no surprise–WaveMarket provides a variety of white-label application solutions to the carrier such as the Sprint Mobile Locator.