There are numerous ways to broadcast your location with a smartphone.
Redmond startup Wayo is joining the fray, but with a twist: Wayo lets users temporarily invite friends, family or contacts to track their whereabouts. The time limited sharing of location data is a key difference from services such as Google’s Latitude.
Once the service is installed on a phone, users can click on a contact to send a “wayo” message. The recipient can then see the sender’s location displayed on a map. The location transmission can be limited to a few minutes, or provided for up to four weeks.
Initially the service is available only on Android phones, based on the Android operating system backed by Google, but Wayo plans to “soon” be available on the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile devices.
The idea is to help people share location information easily and with more control, Wayo Chief Executive Lorenzo Ballanti said in the release.
“In reality there are very few people who we want to know where we are all of the time; yet, there are lots of people who we want to know where we are some of the time,” he said. “Only Wayo offers the ability to share your location with exactly whom you want, for exactly how long you choose.”
Wayo was founded in March 2012 by three ex-MotoGP developers — Antonio, Lorenzo and Enrique — who worked on embedded systems, games, Windows and interactive TV. They funded the 10-person company, along with unnamed angel investors.
Lorenzo is unveiling the service at the Web 2.0 Conference’s Launchpad event Tuesday in San Jose, Calif.
Wayo will be free initially, while the company builds scale. The company expects to eventually make money from ads, premium services and versions for business.