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Orange offers 'smart app' dev tool and global M2M location service

Peter Sayer | Sept. 19, 2014
Network operator Orange wants to help businesses deliver relevant information to their customers, and keep track of things and people, with three new services that take advantage of its mobile networks.

Now, Orange is adding anonymized, aggregate information about the age, sex and socio-professional category of the visitors, something that will help tourism marketing authorities determine where to concentrate their advertising in traditional media that do not allow one-to-one targeting.

Flux Vision uses a proprietary system for ensuring the irreversible anonymity of the data, which Felder said has the approval of the France's privacy watchdog, the National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL).

To further reduce the risk of revealing subscribers' identities to users of the service, data is only provided when the number of persons concerned is over 20, or 50 in tourism applications, said product manager Rémi Hugonin. That means, for instance, that while a busload of tourists visiting a village museum in midwinter would show up in the data, no sociodemographic details would be provided about them unless they all fell into the same category, because there would not be enough of any one category to pass the threshold.

Felder added: "We can even tell whether visitors to a theme park are mostly English or German, thanks to the roaming data from our network, and that's very useful to the park for marketing purposes."

Orange's third launch of the day, Smart Apps Center, is a service that aims to improve customer experience by allowing developers to create mobile apps that learn about their users, automatically and progressively personalizing the information they provide. Client side, the service will work with pretty much any mobile platform, while on the server side it is based on .Net, and can be programmed in C#, Java, or other languages more suited to artificial intelligence work. Orange will shortly offer API documentation and an SDK (software development kit) for download from its website.

The service could allow even small cities to develop their own smart "what's on" app to provide suggestions for an evening's entertainment, automatically ruling out outdoor activities if weather forecasts predict rain, for example, and putting movie showings top of the list once the service learns that the user's interests include cinema.


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