Point and click local search on cell phone

The IHT reports on the story of a new service in Japan that allows to "point a specialized cellphone at a hotel, a restaurant or a historical monument, and with the press of a button the phone will display information from the Internet describing the object you are looking at".

The new service is made possible by the efforts of three Japanese companies and GeoVector, a small American technology firm, and it represents a missing link between cyberspace and the physical world.

The phones combine satellite-based navigation, precise to within no more than 9 meters, or 30 feet, with an electronic compass to provide a new dimension of orientation. Connect the device to the Internet and it is possible to overlay the point-and-click simplicity of a computer screen on top of the real world. The technology is being seen first in Japan because emergency regulations there require cellphones by next year to have receivers using the satellite- based Global Positioning System to establish their location.

What is interesting in the article is the mention to 'potential' users' needs (to this "Holy Grail for local search," as said by the company managers ):

"People are underestimating the power of geographic search," said Kanwar Chadha, chief executive of Sirf Technology, a Silicon Valley maker of satellite-navigation gear. (...) The point-and-click idea could solve one of the most annoying side-effects of local wireless advertising. (...) "It's like getting junk faxes; nobody wants that," said Marc Rotenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a policy group in Washington. "To the degree you are proactive, the more information that is available to you, the more satisfied you are likely to be." With the GeoVector technology, control is given over to the user, who gets information only from what he or she points at.

Why do I blog this? because I am interested in location-based services usage.