ChimpIt is a new service that makes your notebook location-aware, just like your smartphone, even though your notebook doesn't have GPS. When your notebook is location-aware, services like Google Maps, Yelp!, WeatherUnderground, Fandango and Facebook work better because they know exactly where you are. Suddenly, your notebook can be as cool as your smartphone, but with a full-size keyboard and bigger screen.
The ideal user for ChimpIt is a traveler. Almost every traveler still carries a notebook. Imgaine checking into a hotel and having ChimpIt automatically welcome you to the hotel by its name and then displaying you a real-time local portal with local news, weather, neighborhood Yelp reviews, local deals nearby, and people nearby. The Google Map is optimized with your exact address making it easy to get exact driving directions and transit info. It helps Google do an awesome job of showing you where the nearest "atm", "pharmacy", "chinese" food, or "taco" is.
But you can benefit from using ChimpIt at home too because of the way it shows you the local deals nearby using coupon services like Groupon or crowd-sourcing solutions like WantandFound. Chimpit helps you break the ice with your virtual officeworkers at your virtual office, those people you see all the time at the cafe. It also makes it easy for you to share your location with your Facebook friends or share your good or bad experience at a location after you've left.
ChimpIt was launched at SXSW 2011. ChimpIt. You are here. Here's what's near.
CEO - Rich MacKinnon - Founded Less Networks (2008 Most Promising Web 2.0 Company, Rice Alliance), Austin Wireless Alliance Industry Leadership Award 2009, co-founder Rocksteady Networks (Raised $1M), co-founder Portal Software (IPO PRSF), product marketer Dejanews/Deja.com, product marketer IXC/Broadwing/Cincinnati Bell.
CTO - Arun Chatterjee - co-founded Neo-YoYo (acquired by Interwoven), PhD Comp Sci/EE/AI, member technical staff Motorola
Crowd-source the collection of business locations and then sell marketing information and access to the customers of the businesses. Basically a Yelp+FourSquare/Gowalla Hybrid or Facebook Places model. Many businesses have no clue who their customers are or how to communicate with them unless they drop a business card or fill out a form. ChimpIt automates this process because it is a "no check-in required" check-in app--the check-in is automatic, but the location-sharing is optional. We make this information available to businesses without compromising the privacy of the consumer. We believe that every customer should be King (or mayor) and provide a way for businesses to recognize all of their customers.
The risks are that there are many players in social mobile, but the most intense compettion is on smartphones. We've staked out early territory on notebooks. FourSquare, Gowalla, and Loopt don't have any market share there. Facebook and Google have not spent much energy on mobile and LBS for notebooks. ChimpIt is trying to complement, rather than compete with, the offerings of these companies.
ChimpIt is being launched across the Less Networks network of Smart WiFi hotspots worldwide. Less Networks has the world's largest social wi-fi network with almost 500,000 users. The users are the target audience for ChimpIt.