Xybernaut Corporation announced it has been granted a patent by the Japan Patent Office (JPO) for leaving and retrieving messages and data of all types at specific locations — such as coordinate way points — within a commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) provider network or other networks. The Japan patent, which relates to the Xybernaut U.S. patent No. 6,377,793 entitled, “System and Method of Accessing and Recording Messages at Coordinate Way Points,” covers the technology for directing messages or information to a specific location. The information, which could be personalized for individuals or organizations, could be any type of information, including voice messages, audio, video, animation, Web sites, documents, text or e-mail. Xybernaut is currently discussing applications with corporations, government entities and other organizations as part of a recently enhanced Licensing Plan related to Xybernaut intellectual property. According to an April 21, 2003 report by industry analyst firm Gartner Group, “81.1 million cell phones (are) in use in Japan as of March 2003, meaning six out of 10 people now carry mobile phones.” NEC Corp and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd remained Japan’s largest and second-largest cell phone makers in terms of Japan sales in 2002 while NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, and Japan Telecom Co Ltd remain the largest network service providers. Separately, a recent (April 10, 2003) report by the MultiMedia Research Institute Ltd indicated, “Japan’s domestic shipments of cell phone handsets will likely edge up in the year to next March (3/04/03), with camera phones and high-speed third-generation (3G) handsets providing the main boost. Annual shipments in 2003/04 are expected to grow 0.8 percent to 41.3 million units.”
Since Way Point is device independent, it will work with virtually any information appliance such as GPS-enabled or other location-determining devices that can communicate and/or retrieve data over various types of networks. The devices could be future technology or currently available items such as cell phones, PDAs, wearable computers, wristwatch PCs, laptops or GPS-enabled automobiles. The information could be accessible by any subscriber or specifically tailored for certain individuals or subscriber segment(s). Subscribers will be able to retrieve information at specific coordinate locations while traveling within the network. Examples of business applications would be direct marketing; one-to-one focused marketing; field force automation; asset management and electronic commerce. Consumer applications might be emergency response; notifying drivers of dangers before they approach an accident scene or road hazard; notifying consumers of discounts near a retail outlet; or notifying a traveler of the location of a favorite type of restaurant. A variety of military and homeland security applications also exist. Examples of current networks on which the Way Point architecture can operate include cellular networks, satellite arrays, and two-way radio and/or spread spectrum microwave networks. Many other types of communications networks are under development, such as geographically based 802.11 “Hot Spots” that provide broadband wireless network connectivity within a defined area.