Business Standard

Now, time travels with Yahoo!'s iPad app

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Nasdaq-listed digital media company Yahoo! is set to launch Time Traveler, an application for iOS-based (operating system) mobile devices. The application, the global launch of which will be announced in the US tonight, will help travellers with little time on hand to hop around various destinations within a particular city.

Yesterday, Yahoo! Had announced the launch of Yahoo! Axis, a new browser and search tool for iPhone and iPad. “The backend (support) of is interesting. It coordinates with a traveller’s need, computes through Flickr images which people have uploaded in the past and tells him the destinations he would visit, say in an hour,” Shouvick Mukherjee, vice-president and chief executive officer, Yahoo! India research and development (R&D), told Business Standard.

While refusing to share more features of the new product, he said the mobile application will be launched in 29 cities across Europe and the US, including Rome, Paris and Chicago tonight. “Indian cities? Not yet on our radar,” he said.

“We will start with and then extend it to other operating systems. Given the higher usage of Android-based devices in Europe and the US, we have to go for it, too. Every country has its own marketplace for Android. There are (various) regulations and processes which we have to go through,” he said, while declining to comment further.

On the company’s recent layoff of close to 2,000 employees globally as part of its massive restructuring and the subsequent impact on the Bangalore centre, its second-largest R&D centre globally, he said the impact in India had been “very very minimal.”

Yahoo!, which invests over $1 billion in R&D every year globally, of which a good portion comes to India, currently employs 2,000 staff in this section in the country. Idea submissions for patent review at the Bangalore centre have seen an average rise of 40 per cent in the last three years. The centre has delivered more than 20 products across Yahoo!’s media, technology and platform portfolio.

“The size of talent is always required and we continue to hire and build out in India, which is very critical to the company. Now, the thinking is not going to be on numbers. It will be more around what is the impact that we are going to create. With lesser number of people ... that’s better,” he said.

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