Researchers at Siemens are calling their latest innovation "digital graffiti", though it's not really graffiti. It's more like a mobile phone version of the omnipresent Post-it notes.
The application allows mobile phone owners to send a message, similar to an SMS (Short Message Service), to a geographical point rather than a person. The message can be received by a number of mobile phone users entering a defined radius around the location.
Users type in messages on a mobile device. The message is sent via a wireless link to a server, which assigns it to a geographical point and holds ready for call-up. The server then transmits the message to people entering the designated zone.
Pictures can be sent in addition to text messages, and all of the information can expire after a set date.
"Imagine a foreman walking through a plant and making notes of things to check for the maintenance crew on the production floor, or a friend who really knows his way around an area leaving tips of places to go for less familiar buddies," a Seimens spokesperson says.
However, it’s also easy to imagine the potential for spam. A problem? "No, there will be ways to accept and reject messages," the spokesperson says.
The technology, developed in cooperation with researchers at the University of Linz in Austria and the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, is about two years from commercial roll-out, according to Siemens.