I was part of a panel today at the The Mobility Summit an event organised by the European Technology Forum and Cnet Networks. The panel discussed the emergence of more precisely the lack of emergence of Location Based Services as a section of the mobile data industry.
The point I argued, as I have before, is that as long as LBS applications are more difficult to access, and provide no more information, than asking a passer-by in the street they will fail to become mainstream. This is really disappointing as all the necessary components are in place to deliver really useful mobile portals customised to met the needs of the use based on their location.
Imagine switching on your mobile phone and been presented with, the local weather, traffic conditions, train departures from the closest station and your nearest ATM etc, all without having to click through many complex menus, pressing keys multiple times etc.
From the users perspective, the complexity of currently using LBS is a real issue, although as Sean Phelan from multimap.com pointed out, cost is a big problem… would multimap, streetmap, google maps etc have had the success they have had so far, if they users had been charged 25p a go !
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.