Where Are We Going?
The location-content connection is already developing in interesting ways as the examples throughout this article have illustrated, but we really are just at the beginnings of how we will use this technology moving forward.
SDL's Carroll sees applying the Denver Airport application in many different settings. "For starters, this type of use-case can be applied to many different scenarios that include every major airport in the world, shopping malls, main streets, public events and so on," he says.
He adds, "Imagine being in your favorite retail area and having relevant offers sent to your phone as you journey near a specific retailer. The ‘one-size-fits-all' promotion can now be replaced by the tailored experience. Now take this to the extreme, and supermarkets and big box stores can essentially offer the [special] promotions (such as products on a physical end-cap display) as a virtual mobile end-cap display (promotion)."
MapHook's Link says these concepts will continue to develop. "We expect there will be a lot of fine-tuning in the marketplace. Apps will continue to improve in functionality and their monetizing capability will continue to evolve."
Link believes the underlying technology will continue to improve. "Wireless networks will continue to upgrade their broadband capability enabling more and larger content such as video to be incorporated into various applications. Wireless network technologies and devices (such as 3G and 4G and the iPhone) are becoming more ubiquitous across carrier networks. Thus it will become easier for location-based applications that were once siloed to be more available to more carriers and ultimately more consumers."
There are certainly still many issues and hurdles to work out, perhaps most important being our notion of privacy. There are broad privacy implications when an application can use our location simply as a matter of course without our explicit permission to do so. We will need to find ways to respect user privacy while taking advantage of the ability to offer individualized content based on that location. It's a tricky line to walk and will be part of the location-content discussion moving forward.
We may have a long way to go with this technology, but even today, location capabilities are far more intricate than simple social check-in/checkout services. As the underlying technologies-phones, maps, GPS, networks, and so forth-develop and grow, so will the types of applications, and the link between content and location will grow ever stronger, giving consumers and content providers alike the potential for an individualized content experience based on where you are in the world.
Foodspotting - www.foodspotting.com
LocationLabs - http://location-labs.com
MapHook - www.maphook.com
mFoundry - www.mfoundry.com
Morriss Partee/EverythingCU - http://everythingcu.wordpress.com/about
SapientNitro - www.sapient.com/en-us/sapientnitro.html
SDL - www.sdl.com/en/wcm
Springer AuthorMapper - www.authormapper.com