Kakao revamps mobile navigation service

Kakao revamps mobile navigation service

Kakao launched its mobile navigation service, dubbed KakaoNavi, Wednesday.
The new service is based on the Kimgisa mobile navigation service, previously operated by Kakao’s subsidiary Loc&All.

Expectations are that Kakao will accelerate improvements to the service to compete with other local map services such as T-map by SK Telecom and Naver Map which recently introduced its own navigation mode.

“The Kimgisa navigation service has been strengthened together with Kakao,” said Park Jong-hwan, head of Kakao’s navigation service team and former CEO of Loc&All. “I hope that KakaoNavi will help users drive more safely and conveniently.”

As T-map leads the domestic mobile navigation service market with about 8 million users, the Kimgisa service had some 2.5 million users here as of last year. KT and LG Uplus, which hold about 3 million and 2 million users respectively, announced a collaboration plan last week to share real-time traffic information.

Last May, Kakao acquired a 100 percent stake in Loc&All and took over the business rights of Kimgisa in January, aiming at collaboration with the online-to-offline (O2O) service sector.

The company said it will also accelerate its investment in promising local startups.
“We expect to boost user convenience by connecting KakaoNavi to other diverse services such as KakaoTaxi in the future,” Park said.

Since acquiring Loc&All, Kakao has expanded its server capacity, upgraded its system and advanced its data processing for the Kimgisa service. The company said it has gathered around-the-clock traffic data collected by some 210,000 taxi drivers affiliated with the KakaoTaxi service. It said the analysis of the data has enabled the company to provide accurate driving information updated every few minutes.

“Based on such technological improvements, we expect that KakaoNavi will be able to provide more accurate information as the number of its users increases,” the company said.

Kakao also stressed that KakaoNavi allows users to share information such as current location, destination and estimated time of arrival with others through its mobile messenger KakaoTalk. This is possible even when they don’t use the navigation service because it is the nation’s only web-based service, the company said.

KakaoNavi also adopted a new beehive-style user interface and a friendlier system design with the company’s popular characters from the Kakao Friends brand.

Multiple voice options for the audio guidance system, which has been one of the advantages of Kimgisa, will continue to be available for free.

The company also improved its traffic data processing algorithm for about 1,400 intersections nationwide to provide more accurate information on traffic conditions and travel times. It expected that more than 1.5 million users will benefit from the update every day.

Source : Kakao launched its mobile navigation service, dubbed KakaoNavi, Wednesday.
The new service is based on the Kimgisa mobile navigation service, previously operated by Kakao’s subsidiary Loc&All.

Expectations are that Kakao will accelerate improvements to the service to compete with other local map services such as T-map by SK Telecom and Naver Map which recently introduced its own navigation mode.

“The Kimgisa navigation service has been strengthened together with Kakao,” said Park Jong-hwan, head of Kakao’s navigation service team and former CEO of Loc&All. “I hope that KakaoNavi will help users drive more safely and conveniently.”

As T-map leads the domestic mobile navigation service market with about 8 million users, the Kimgisa service had some 2.5 million users here as of last year. KT and LG Uplus, which hold about 3 million and 2 million users respectively, announced a collaboration plan last week to share real-time traffic information.

Last May, Kakao acquired a 100 percent stake in Loc&All and took over the business rights of Kimgisa in January, aiming at collaboration with the online-to-offline (O2O) service sector.

The company said it will also accelerate its investment in promising local startups.
“We expect to boost user convenience by connecting KakaoNavi to other diverse services such as KakaoTaxi in the future,” Park said.

Since acquiring Loc&All, Kakao has expanded its server capacity, upgraded its system and advanced its data processing for the Kimgisa service. The company said it has gathered around-the-clock traffic data collected by some 210,000 taxi drivers affiliated with the KakaoTaxi service. It said the analysis of the data has enabled the company to provide accurate driving information updated every few minutes.

“Based on such technological improvements, we expect that KakaoNavi will be able to provide more accurate information as the number of its users increases,” the company said.

Kakao also stressed that KakaoNavi allows users to share information such as current location, destination and estimated time of arrival with others through its mobile messenger KakaoTalk. This is possible even when they don’t use the navigation service because it is the nation’s only web-based service, the company said.

KakaoNavi also adopted a new beehive-style user interface and a friendlier system design with the company’s popular characters from the Kakao Friends brand.

Multiple voice options for the audio guidance system, which has been one of the advantages of Kimgisa, will continue to be available for free.

The company also improved its traffic data processing algorithm for about 1,400 intersections nationwide to provide more accurate information on traffic conditions and travel times. It expected that more than 1.5 million users will benefit from the update every day.

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