Yahoo's Fire Eagle takes flight
Tool automatically updates Web, desktop and mobile apps to show location of users
Computerworld - Yahoo Inc. Tuesday announced the general availability of Fire Eagle, a tool that provides an interface for updating, managing and storing information about locations. The tool can also automatically add the data to geo-aware Web, mobile or desktop applications.
Fire Eagle also provides developers with easy protocols for adding location-based information to any networked service, said Yahoo. For example, Fire Eagle can help users find the physical location of their friends or of services or local information.
Fire Eagle, which was built at Yahoo's internal Brickhouse incubator for start-up projects, allows users to authorize automatic updates of their location, or to do it manually. They can also opt to hide their location, change preferences for sharing their location or delete any stored personal information, Yahoo said. Since its private beta launch in March, Fire Eagle has been integrated into more than 50 live applications, including Dopplr,Pownce, Movable Type and Outside.in, through the platform's API, Yahoo added.
"Fire Eagle allowed us to easily add location data to Pownce using their simple API," said Leah Culver, co-founder of Pownce, in a statement. "Pownce users can now say where they are and geo-tag their notes, which adds a new dimension to the service."
Other services based on Fire Eagle that were built during the beta period include:
- Dopplr, a service that allows travelers to share travel plans others.
- Lightpole, a mobile application service provider that distributes location-specific information to mobile devices in real-time.
- SPOT, a satellite messenger that sends users' GPS location and custom messages to family and friends or emergency responders over a satellite communications network independent of cell phone coverage.
Frederic Lardinois, a blogger at ReadWriteWeb, noted that Fire Eagle could create serious privacy concerns as a central hub for sharing locations across applications, but added that Yahoo has made privacy an important focus of the platform.
"Right upon sign-up, users are given the option to receive regular e-mails from Yahoo to see if they are still comfortable with sharing this kind of information," Lardinois said. "If you do not respond to this e-mail, Yahoo will automatically disable your Fire Eagle account. Yahoo also allows users to turn the service off when they want to keep their location private."
He also noted that when it first launched Tuesday, Fire Eagle had trouble keeping up with a rush of new users.
"Once it is running smoothly again, we would not be surprised if Fire Eagle could make good on its promise of becoming the central clearinghouse for location services," Lardinois added. "Already, close to 800 developers are working on applications that make use of Fire Eagle in some form or another."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Riverbed Stingray Application Firewall: Securing Cloud Applications with a Distributed Web Application Firewall Responsibility over IT security is moving away from the network and IT infrastructure and to the application and software architecture itself. IT organizations...
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts