In 1998 Verizon Executive Vice President and CTO Richard Lynch was quoted as saying that he was resolutely certain that “location and presence will be cornerstones of most successful wireless applications for the foreseeable future.” Time it seems has proven Mr. Lynch right.Indeed amongst the plethora of mobile technology none have taken the mobile world by storm quite as significantly as location-based applications (LBAs). By means of reliable services such as GPS we may now effortlessly find our location and choose the most convenient route to get to our destinations. Alternatively Geo-tagging provides the possibility of uploading information on the web with data about your current physical location attached. Yet LBAs are proving to be much more than the passive endeavours such as the two above.
Quite the contrary applications like Foursquare allow the user to interact not only with other friends’ locations but with the locations themselves. When one ‘checks-in’ a location Foursquare lists close-by places of interest. The user is further integrated into a scheme of points and badges redeemable for coupons as well as the prestigious online title of ‘mayor’ of that particular location.
Thus companies have turned LBAs into one of their biggest assets setting up competitions between their consumers who strive to become ‘mayors’ in order to win special deals and free items. Furthermore the notion of promoting events to people who are nearby is one that is clearly lucrative for many an event company and will surely continue to be exploited in the coming years.The interactive potential of such technology could balloon into a more and more personalised service. The LBA Yelp for instance will not only list restaurants near the user but more importantly restaurants that match that user’s interests and spending habits. Such a situation cannot be described as other than beneficial for all involved.
Whilst the development of location based applications is still in its early stages it is almost certain that they will continue to rapidly progress in a manner that will be both convenient to the user who wants to exploit his surroundings and companies who would like to cater to that user’s specific needs.
According to US Company Skyhook there are over 6 400 location apps on the App Store which shows that there’s a flourishing marketplace of revenue-generating location aware applications.
As of January 2010, only one fourth of these iPhone apps were free to download.
As smartphones and mobile tablets offer new extensions to the existing Web, ICON has become very focused on mobile and location-based services. Contact us to see how we can help you benefit from LBAs and how to take your business mobile.Tags: Sales, Tools