Motorola buys location-based software vendor

Privately held Aloqa GmbH joins Motorola Mobility group

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Motorola, Inc. wants to make mobile smartphones even smarter -- and more proactively helpful to users.

Today the communications giant announced it has purchased privately held Aloqa GmbH, a developer of location-based software and technology designed to help mobile smartphone users find relevant local web content. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aloqa, however, won't be with Motorola proper for long. It joins Motorola Mobility, a unit comprised of Motorola's Mobile Devices and Home business, which is due to be spun off from the parent company early next year.

Aloqa says its mobile service proactively notifies users of places, events, music, movies and other activities of interest near them. Rather than having to conduct their own web search, the company explains, users "can just look at (their) phones and see (their) favorite hotspots, activities, events of interest, and recommended bargains close by."

Well, that sounds handy! As Aloqa notes on its website, searching for information on a mobile phone can be a real hassle. I think nearly anyone with a smartphone would agree with that.

Motorola says it intends to integrate Aloqa's location-based content with its own MOTOBLUR service, which delivers customized content to mobile devices and enables users to access social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, along with email, news and mobile applications.

Currently Aloqa only works in the US, Germany, the U.K., Canada, and Austria, but plans to expand to other geographies soon. The company has offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and Munich, Germany.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) shares were virtually even at $8.36 late this afternoon after falling to $8.24 earlier in the day.

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