San Jose (CA) – Mozilla Labs recently released an experimental extension called Geode, which adds location based features to the Firefox browser. Just as location-based services can enhance the feature set of a cellphone, Geode is now just as capable wherever it is you take your laptop or use your PC.
Searching for dining establishments, entertainment, and shopping in a new or unfamiliar location can be as simple as opening your laptop, starting your Firefox browser and heading to your favorite review site. Geode is capable of automatically gauging your location and offering up great suggestions for anything you might need that are only minutes away.
We were able to take the application for a spin and found that the application itself is great, however its unfortunate that the majority of websites have yet to begin offering location based services. Mozilla Labs has been kind enough to supply a few demonstration sites to test their app.
The question on my mind, and I’m sure everyone else’s is, just how smart is Geode? How location oriented, and on target is this new experimental application?
Upon installing the Geode application and restarting your Firefox web browser, you will be sent directly to the Geode welcome page that will ask for the permission to determine and utilize your location. Geode utilizes Skyhook Loki’s Wi-Fi positioning tools that are capable of mapping Wi-Fi signals. Mozilla Labs claims that Loki is capable of finding your location accurately within 10 to 20 miles in less than a second.
To test the accuracy of the product, I used Geode from my personal PC at my house and I have to admit that I was extremely impressed to discover that Loki was capable of locating me, within a few feet of where I actually was. Using The Food Finder, I was able to quickly find some of my favorite dining establishments in the area, proving that the application works exactly as Mozilla Labs boasts.
Currently you can download Geode directly from Mozilla Labs, however when Firefox 3.1 is released. it will be built directly into the browser. The implementation however, will be a little different in Firefox 3.1, as you will have the authority to decide which device or service will provide for you location data. So even though Geode isn’t fully supported all over the web, may actually have a huge impact.