It's a rare moment when a message is delivered at precisely the right place that it will prove most useful to the receiver. For example, what if you received your spouse's message to pick up a gallon of milk when you pulled up to the grocery store? Chances are you would remember to buy the requested gallon of milk better than if you had received the message earlier that day.

How did the Idea Hatch?

Donde was created out of a desire to find a better value between the connection of messages and location. Researchers realized a note with location association would mean users could get the message just when they needed it — which is often at a particular location or point in time. This way messages don't get buried in an inbox.

About the Project

Donde is a service for sending, delivering, storing and receiving location-based messages intended for mobile smartphone devices. The application lets users compose a message, associate a location, whether current or searchable and then send the message for delivery at the time the recipient reaches a particular geographic location.

Messaging was selected as the core function of this project. Location was later introduced realizing that people want to get messages where and when, they need them. A prototype was then created based on this concept. As a part of the Innovation Pipeline (TIP), an AT&T crowd sourcing and collaboration tool that turns employee ideas into actual products and services, Donde is being developed into a consumer market trial in partnership with Consumer Mobility.

The Future

The possibilities for location-based messaging are promising for many different platforms. Eventually, the concept of Donde could be integrated into all messaging platforms. The convenience of this technology makes it a natural fit for all types of messages.

About the Researcher

Gerald KaramGerald Karam has been a part of AT&T Labs research since joining AT&T in 1995. His primary research has been on new platforms for consumer and enterprise communication services that leverage emerging technology and devices for fixed and mobile services. While an Executive Director of IP Services Research, his work led to several service trials for both consumers and businesses, and the launch of a new business for AT&T — AT&T CallVantageSM. He was also featured in AT&T's 2004 Summer Olympics Advertising campaign for AT&T CallVantage.

Gerald was instrumental in the development of the VoiceXML specification, where he was a co-creator and co-author of VoiceXML 1.0, and VoiceXML Forum; this was an outgrowth of his work at AT&T. His continuing interests include mobile applications and technology, telecommunications software, platforms, and services, software design and analysis, concurrent systems, and real-time systems. He is an AT&T Fellow, the company's highest technical honor. He is an IEEE Senior Member, has served in many volunteer positions, receiving an IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2002 and the 1998 Regional Activities Board Innovation Award.

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