“You should be able to put them into any navigation app, into any eCommerce checkout page.”
The United Nation’s Development Programme is using the technology in Turkey, the Irish government has incorporated the maps into its new postcodes and a delivery company in Brazil uses it.
“For us, getting into these apps and corporations is a way to reach consumers so that the consumers can do things they want to do with a three-word address,” Sheldrick said.
The company, headquartered in London at index.home.raft, started three years ago after Sheldrick spent a decade in the music industry frustrated with people not turning up where they had to be because of navigation problems.
“You give an address to 40 people and people generally show up in 40 different places,” Sheldrick said, lamenting how various apps can give different locations for the same address.
“It was just a constant daily frustration,” he said.
Tied to its investment, Aramex will incorporate what3words’ technology into its delivery system, which Sheldrick said would cut down on call centre and driver expenses generated from delivery delays caused by problems in locating addresses. He said what3words would work “very closely” with Aramex.
Reaching more consumers
No one from Aramex was available for this article but in a statement last week, chief executive Hussain Hachem said it would introduce the maps to its e-commerce operations across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
“We are now better able to reach more consumers worldwide, even those in difficult to access locations,” he said in the statement.
The what3words map and technology is available in 170 countries and 10 languages. By the end of summer, they will add Arabic, Sheldrick said, and they are looking at Farsi, Urdu, and Hindi among other Indian languages.
The locations, named almost at random by an algorithm, exclude homophones such as “son” and “sun” and words that could be insulting or spelt differently in the United Kingdom and the United States. Popular areas use short, common words and more remote locations use longer words.
“When you’re scrolling round the map in Dubai you will find very straight forward words whereas in the northern forests of Russia you would probably find more complicated ... words,” Sheldrick said.
Factbox: Ten well-known landmarks around the world
what3words have carved up the world into 57 trillion million three metre squares each identified by a unique three word name. Gulf News has looked up a list of ten well-known landmarks around the world on the what3words mobile app. Below is a list of their unique three word name.
Buckingham Palace: fence.gross.bats
Burj Khalifa: similar.sediment.slider
Dubai Mall: steamed.arching.shrimps
Eiffel Tower: graphics.dads.inched
Great Pyramid of Giza: revolts.stubble.commuting
Kingdom Tower: ghost.tallest.skydiver
Red Fort (Delhi): limo.snowy.universes
The White House: sulk.held.raves
Statue of Liberty: planet.inches.most
Sydney Harbour Bridge: mercy.home.meal
By Alexander Cornwell Staff Reporter
Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.