Finding locations on GPS devices can sometimes be a pain. Entering address information can take a long time. And enter one thing wrong, and you often have to start again.
Now, though, SA start-up Waytag has developed a solution it says will make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for in navigation software.
The company, which has the backing of former Google SA chief Stafford Masie and software company MIP, says it wants to “simplify navigation” by doing away with “old-style addresses” on GPS devices.
CEO Warren Venter says the idea is to create “waytags”, or common English terms, and link these to geographic co-ordinates. So, the waytag “TechCentral”, for example, could point to this website’s offices in Johannesburg.
“A waytag is an easily identifiable tag that is unique to the business or person that owns that tag,” Venter says. “Even if you move address, your tag stays the same.”
Waytag, whose shareholders are are Venter, his partner Peter McFall, and MIP, plans to launch in the next couple of months. Masie, who consults to Waytag, has the option of becoming a shareholder, too.
The software, developed by MIP, is ready and the company is now in talks with directory listing companies and various other players in the location field. It’s developed an iPhone application to demonstrate the system, though it’s not yet available in the iTunes Store. BlackBerry and Android versions are under development.
There is no cost to register waytags and the company is already allowing businesses and individuals to reserve waytags on its website.
It’s not clear yet how Waytag will make money. Venter says the company will figure that out later. “If we have a reliable, user-managed, geo-tagged database, that information has value in terms of the applications that can be built on the back-end. Building that database is our focus and once we have adoption we will figure out the revenue model.”
Venter says Waytag, though an SA company, will focus on the global market. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
This profile is the fourth article in a new section on TechCentral focused on technology start-ups in SA. TechCentral’s purpose in launching the section is to profile what our start-up entrepreneurs are doing and to highlight some of the interesting technology ideas coming out of SA. Do you have an interesting tech start-up? Are you doing something out of the ordinary? Why not drop TechCentral’s editor a line and tell us about what you’re doing?