Making Science

io global Powers BT MyPlace Launch

David Murphy

BT has announced the launch of BT MyPlace, which it claims is the worlds first location-centric, personalised service, combining location, personalisation data and convergence, to dynamically deliver relevant information and advertising to consumers on the move. The service is powered by io global, which provides converged digital media solutions.
Access to the BT MyPlace portal is free via any outdoor BT Openzone Westminster hotspot and can be accessed from any wi-fi device in BTs Westminster Wireless City. Phones without wi-fi can access the service via the same URL via their cellular connection, though normal data rates will apply. The mobile version of the site is optimised for mobile.
BT MyPlace delivers targeted, sponsored services and advertising, including restaurant, bars and shopping recommendations, plus audio downloads including books and walking tours. The service presents people with information, based on their preferences and location, within central London and the West End.
Billed as a pocket concierge, BT MyPlace has been launched by BT in conjunction with Westminster City Council, and is sponsored by Cisco and Intel. Content partners include Discovery Audio,, KODAK Gallery, London Pass,, Time Out and Top Table. Bespoke content is also being produced by ITN On, including Movie Buff, the weekly review for film goers, and London Talking, featuring video conversations with different Londoners about their favourite places.
BT MyPlace will be available to over 256,000 people who live in the area and 800,000 daily commuters that pass through the city. BT notes that over 6 million business people and 23 million tourists visit the area each year.
This is all about getting the information you want quickly, without having to visit lots of different sites, says Peter Gandy, Vice President of Digital Services at io global. The service knows where you are, so it can give you the 10 closest restaurants to where youre standing. You can also read about the restaurant, see the menu, and get a map to show you how to get there.
The BT MyPlace portal contains six service areas: Find my nearest; Live & Work; Explore; Enjoy; Entertain; and Get Around. Each delivers relevant localised information depending on a specific persons needs. A Special Offers service is also available through BT MyPlace, alerting people to current promotions and offers in and around London. The services are available to users via a combination of advertiser-sponsored content and paid-for downloads.
Tim Stranack Westminster City Council's Head of Research and Development, says BT MyPlace is an innovative use of the wireless network.
It benefits those who live and work in Westminster and is an excellent service for the millions of visitors and tourists who come to the city each year, says Stranack. The increasing number of people who have wi-fi-enabled mobile phones, music players and portable games consoles will be able to access this information for free. We are extremely excited to be the first UK council to offer these location-based services."