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Skyhook Wireless Announces New Version of Loki, the Free Virtual GPS Location Toolbar

November 7, 2006; 07:54 AM

Skyhook Wireless today announced the availability of the newest version of Loki, the world's first location-based Internet toolbar. Building upon its strong adoption since May, this version introduces significant new features, local advertising capabilities, and performance improvements. Loki (www.loki.com) is a freely downloadable toolbar that relies on existing Wi-Fi devices to pinpoint a user’s exact physical location and then leverages that location to make the Web revolve around the user. Today, Loki’s coverage area now represents 65% of the U.S. population and will expand to 70%, plus the majority of the Canadian population by the end of the year.

“Loki has quickly become one of the largest location based services in the world processing over one million location requests in its first six months,” said Ted Morgan, founder and CEO of Skyhook Wireless. “With this new functionality and the expanded coverage area, Loki is now a ‘must have’ for frequent travelers.”

New Features Include:

  • Time Zone Changer – For people who travel often and are constantly juggling their appointment calendar to deal with the local time zone, the new Loki time zone changer automatically adjusts their computer's time to the local time, just like a cell phone
  • SMS Location – Users can now push their current location instantly to a friend's mobile phone, making it easier to connect in person
  • Customizable Toolbar –Loki can now be configured to only focus on the user’s favorite location channels. Check the new Loki Online Gallery (www.loki.com/gallery) to add new toolbar channels such as the Yahoo! Flickr channel
  • Optimized Scanning – Improves the accuracy of Wi-Fi location and the speed of the location lookup

Local Advertising

This new version of Loki introduces local advertising to the popular FindMe page showing users nearby merchants and promotions. In its first couple of weeks of availability, Loki advertising has demonstrated premium click thru rates greater than 3%, validating the notion that locally targeted advertisements are more interesting to Web users than standard text ads.

Location Pull

A major new capability of Loki is the ability for Web sites to request the user's location from within a Web page merely by using a well-defined Javascript interface. This ‘opt-in’ feature creates a seamless experience for users by helping Web sites display better store finders and nearby local content without the user initiating a location lookup. Examples include MetroSpark (www.metrospark.com), a location-aware service that lets users meet and interact with other people on the web and through their mobile device. Rather than having to log onto MetroSpark and manually type in a current location, the MetroSpark website automatically knows the user's location and displays people nearby.

“By adding the Loki location pull feature to our website, we can make it easy for people to socialize more spontaneously,” said Vivek Sharma, founder & CEO of MetroSpark. “We had evaluated a number of services but found Loki’s Javascript interface to be simple to deploy and its geo-locative accuracy and quality of coverage to be extremely high.”

Other examples of Loki content partners are Socialight (www.socialight.com), a location-aware mobile community and information service, as well as, Flagr (www.flagr.com), a location based bookmarking mashup.

“We have had an ongoing development relationship with Skyhook ever since they first launched Loki and we continue to be impressed with their continued innovation,” said Dan Melinger, founder & CEO of Socialight. “As we prepare to launch a version that will open up our technology to mobile phone users worldwide, Loki’s Location Pull feature will complement our offering beautifully by allowing us to deliver the same unique local messaging capabilities to users accessing Socialight with a Web browser.”

About Skyhook Wireless

Founded in 2003, Skyhook Wireless has pioneered the development of the first-ever metro-area positioning system that leverages Wi-Fi rather than satellites or cell towers to deliver precise location data supporting the growing market for location-based services. The Skyhook Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) requires no new hardware, works indoors and outdoors, provides an instant location and is more accurate than current technologies in congested downtown areas. WPS is currently available in 65% of the US population built on a database of over 14 million access points. Skyhook Wireless is headquartered in Boston, MA and is privately held. Investors include Bain Capital and Intel Capital. For more information visit www.skyhookwireless.com, send email to [email protected] or call 617-314-9802.

Winkowski Public Relations
Beth Winkowski, 978-649-7189
[email protected]



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