In the right place, and at the right time

The Life: Technology rolling out from the GPS industry can now track corporate vehicle fleets, employees and even teenage drivers.

Revenues from location business get even bigger once in-car sat navs, as well as other $40 to $400 global positioning systems, plus subscription services, are factored in. Ana Bianca Marin for The National
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Companies in the technology industry seem to be learning from counterparts in the property business, particularly when it comes to capitalising on location, location, location.

In the words of Yiannis Moissidis: "Location is an opportunity."

Mr Moissidis is a vice president of sales for emerging markets at Nokia Location and Commerce (formerly Navteq), and he has noted that revenues from location-based services on mobiles are growing considerably. More than US$12.7 billion (Dh46.65bn) could be earned by these services by 2014, according to Jupiter Research.

The location business gets even bigger once in-car sat navs, as well as other $40 to $400 global positioning systems (GPS), plus subscription services, are factored in.

In countries such as the US there are all kinds of offerings, including Lok8u, a toddler tag child locator, and MobileTeen GPS - each of which help parents monitor children from afar or track troublesome teens once they start driving the family saloon.

Some employees may also come under more scrutiny as managers seek to monitor them more closely. One marketing firm in Canada has considered using GPS trackers to ensure sales reps show up to demonstrate products during in-store or sporting events.

But tracking workers at this level is against the law in the Emirates, says Roy Nasrallah, the general manager of Geo & Logic, a business in Dubai that specialises in geographic information systems.

Still, Mr Nasrallah says his company has sold about 6,000 subscriptions to businesses that want to track online where and when the vehicles in their fleets go. The cost for outfitting them with Geo & Logic's technologycosts Dh1,700 annually or Dh1,600 plus Dh1,080 annually depending on whether it is leased or purchased.

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