Oops I’m Late - mobile notification solution for latecomers

July 3, 2007 Before the advent of the mobile phone, running 15 minutes late meant just that – you arrived 15 minutes late and people waited for you. Enter text messaging, PDAs and the impatience of the 21st century psyche where you are expected to notify all concerned about the most microscopic change to your ETA – usually resulting in the stressful and sometimes dangerous practice of calling or scrambling a text message while in transit. “Oops I’m Late!” is a novel solution in the form of a newly released software package that uses GPS to calculate the distance between your location and destination and automatically notifies designated contacts that you’re running behind schedule.

Using calendar applications such as Microsoft Outlook, the unique software integrates GPS information into existing appointment information so no coordinates need to be entered. A Creative Commons-licensed formula found at Lateology.com (gotta love their by-line: “this site should have been up years ago”) calculates ETA by dividing distance by rate, taking into account the current time, GPS location and appointment location. The user receives a 30-second countdown warning if the scheduled arrival time is missed and unless disabled Oops I'm Late! will notify specified contacts.

Geocoding (or converting a street address into latitude and longitude coordinates) is provided by another open source service called Geonames.org. Once a user has geocoded the location for where they need to go, they no longer need to be connected to the Internet.

Designated individuals are notified in a preset manner with SMS text messages and email currently supported.

The Oops I'm Late! is primarily for regular engagements such as a weekly meeting at distant location with variable start time and there is a “No notification” failsafes to ensure there are no false positive "lates".

Information on past average speed can also be factored in to give a less erratic result.

Oops I'm Late! costs US$69.99 for the Standard edition and US$99.99 for the Professional edition.

See the Oops I’m Late! site for a full run-down on how it works.

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