Summary: Location Based Services (LBS) were thought to be a killer app for 3G, next is the GPS chip in your phone. What mobile and location services are there right now?

Some of us still remember the early days when 3G business cases were built on the success of LBS’s - everyone was going to make a killing. By far the best ‘LBS’ service on any portal are:

  1. live train timetables (is my train on time)
  2. traffic cameras (where is that jam)
  3. mobile operator concierge service (for those unusal location requests)

So does throwing a GPS chip in a phone help you? If I’m lost will I ask someone? want a map? or fiddle my way around on a small screen? Customers will always do what seems most natural - the path of least resistance.

Having tried Google Maps on the mobile (I knew I was on the right street but not which intersection) a small map can help you - the same can’t be said when you’re driving your car. W2Forum addict Graham Brown, comments that a specific solution for navigation in this case is the way to go.

There are several crossover location-based mobile products out in beta or publicly available:

  1. Semacode or QR Codes - these are 2D barcodes geotagging on landmarks / points of historic interest which can link back to a wiki or website. Good idea for tourists wanting more information while out and about.

  2. NFC / radio tags not only for micropayments like the London Tube Oyster Card or FOMA in Japan. Radio tags are being used to track luggage in Hong Kong Airport, food shipments in the UK and parcels. So why not use your mobile to check if that parcel got delivered?

  3. Public WIFI networks - there has been talk for sometime about public free wifi. More a utopian’s dream than a possible reality allowing you to move around a city and use ‘spare’ wifi capacity on peoples routers. Some examples are projects setup to provide streaming music over wifi to anyone who knows where to listen in to.

I’m sure there are many more projects in the LBS space - even a few years ago the idea of a cheap GPS box that was affordable to everyone was a pipedream .. so what will be tomorrows reality?

Tags: Mobile Marketing

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Damien Saunders
An experienced management consultant and business leader interested in digital transformation, product centred design and scaled agile. If I'm not writing about living with UCTD (an autoimmune disease), I'm probably listening to music, reading a book or learning more about wine.
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