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Creepy Or Cool: Palm's webOS Is Context And Location Aware

Roger McNamee, an investor for Elevation Partners, which has dumped half a billion dollars into Palm, disclosed some interesting new features of webOS. The new OS from Palm can tell when you're going to be late for a meeting, and take action to help you out. You'd better hope it doesn't also e-mail your boss to tell him what you're up to.
Roger McNamee, an investor for Elevation Partners, which has dumped half a billion dollars into Palm, disclosed some interesting new features of webOS. The new OS from Palm can tell when you're going to be late for a meeting, and take action to help you out. You'd better hope it doesn't also e-mail your boss to tell him what you're up to.Mr. McNamee was speaking in an interview with Yahoo Tech Ticker's Sarah Lacy when he brought up some things not covered by Palm during the Pre and webOS launch at CES several weeks ago. Because the Pre will be laden with multiple tools and radios, it can discern where you are, where you're supposed to be, and whether or not you're going to get there on time.

Said McNamee:


But better than that, it does stuff for you. So when you wake up in the morning, it has taken your calendar -- if you ask it to -- and downloaded the maps for your whole day, it's downloaded the wikipedias for the people you're going to visit and the companies you're going to see... Why is it on PCs you have to go and do all that? And when you're late -- get this -- when you're late it -- remember, this things has GPS, it has a clock, and it has your calendar. So it not only knows where you are, it knows where you're supposed to be and when; and so when it realizes you're going to be late, it says "Hey, not only are you going to be late, but I can take care of it for you. I'll send an e-mail to your assistant or to the people in the meeting, which would you prefer? And oh, by the way, here's the map." This is the beginning of a new wave.
For the busy professional running from meeting to meeting, this could certainly be handy. This is a nice piece of innovation from Palm. In fact, I am surprised that solutions and/or services such as this haven't been made widely available already to other smartphone platforms.

The key is tying all the pieces together. I've had my calendar remind me plenty of times when a meeting was about to start. For the phone to know where that meeting is, see that I am not in the right spot, and take corrective action is exceptional.

McNamee does say "if you ask it to," which means this type of functionality can be turned on or off, thankfully. That's a good thing for the employee who values their privacy. McNamee didn't expand much on what other features are brought together in this synergy between applications.