Innovations That Matter

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Travel & Tourism

Companies including the likes of Google have long touted the potential of GPS-based advertising, and that promise recently came a step closer with a new, ad-supported GPS device from adNav. adNav’s Boomerang is an ad-supported mobile concierge system with built-in GPS navigation that’s currently targeted at hotels, airlines and car rental agencies as an extra amenity for out-of-town visitors. The idea is that when a traveller arrives at one of AdNav’s partner hotel or other locations, they are offered the Boomerang for a few dollars a day (the goal is for it to be free eventually, adNav says). In addition to voice-guided GPS navigation, the Boomerang includes unlimited connectivity to the web through wifi and cellular networks. Local city and restaurant guides give users access to hundreds of pages of geo-coded information, allowing them to simply touch the desired destination and be seamlessly directed there via GPS, and there is also unlimited access to live flight information, weather, a language translator, a currency exchange calculator, a tip calculator and games. The Boomerang device can be customized and branded for each partner with the addition of such features as hotel concierge recommendations and constant connectivity to the concierge desk. Tele Atlas, Citysearch,, FlightView and CustomWeather are among the providers of the Boomerang’s content. Brooklyn-based adNav has already rolled out the Boomerang in New York, with additional cities and locations to follow in the coming weeks through partners including DoubleTree and Omni Hotels, among others. Looks like a no-brainer for those in travel-related businesses, and a whole new world of opportunity for hyperlocalized advertising in general. The million-dollar question, of course, is how to bring this model to the mass market. (Related: Let your buses do the talking.) Spotted by: Marko Balabanovic _____ Note: For many more examples of ad-sponsored freebies and other types of ‘FREE LOVE’, be sure to read our sister site’s upcoming briefing on the subject, which will be online on February 26th. If you don’t already subscribe to’s free monthly briefings, sign up here!



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