Skip to Main Content
Developing widely useful mobile computing applications presents difficult challenges. On one hand, mobile users demand intuitive user interfaces, fast response times, and deep relevant content. On the other hand, mobile devices have limited processing, storage, power, display, and communication resources. Vindigo has taken a technology-intensive approach to meeting these challenges and has created personal navigation tools that many people find useful in their everyday lives. Vindigo's Palm OS application, introduced in March 2000, has hundreds of thousands of users and continues to attract new users rapidly. This article presents some of the technology behind Vindigo. To provide context, it first gives an overview of a typical user session. It then discusses special demands and constraints placed on mobile applications, and enumerates design principles drawn from these considerations. The rest of the article describes technology developed at Vindigo according to those principles. Throughout, it emphasizes techniques that have proven effective in delivering location-based services on today's handheld devices.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2002