Feeds

Google unwraps cloudy personnel/fleet tracking via Droid

Makes wind turbines work better too, seemingly. Bonus

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google wants to track your staff, and let you know where they are as well as what they're supposed to be doing, with a cloudy dispatch system called Google Maps Coordinate

All the employees need is an Android app which will show them the list of outstanding jobs, and let them opt out of the real-time tracking when they're having lunch or just don't want to be found, but the rest of the time the Google cloud will tell them where they should be going and what to do when they get there.

Google's latest offering isn't free, it'll set you back $15 per person per month until September when the Chocolate Factory will be deciding just how much companies are prepared to pay for the kind of tracking which has previously been restricted to taxi companies and truckers, with the additional ability to allocate and manage jobs.

There's a video for the hard of thinking, showing how Google Maps Coordinate can help keep wind turbines running efficiently:

The integration with Google Maps will attract many people, and the lack of up-front investment will encourage dabbling by companies who've hitherto relied on employee's integrity (and the occasional phone call) to keep them working when out of the office. The software needs Android 2.3 (or better) so could be cheaply deployed, and while the job list might not be tailored one can envision many industries in which a basic text field with "accept" and "reject" buttons would be more than adequate.

The service won't have advertising: even Google won't charge one $15 a month and then push ads, but the data captured could well end up being used for targeting, and we wouldn't put it past the Googleplex to expect all participants to be signed up to Google+. We also don't know if/when it's going to spread outside the USA, we're waiting to hear from the chocolate-factory-central. The cloudy nature should lend itself to international expansion, but Google might decide to step cautiously until the end of 2012 at least.

It's hard to cast judgement until we know how reliable, and usable, the system is, not to mention how much Google eventually decides to charge for it, but it should certainly push existing suppliers into innovation if they're not going to be steamrollered by a product which is good enough for most of their customers.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.