Last week I presented at the “Location Business” summit in Amsterdam, and it was interesting to reflect on just how far the LBS market has developed over the years.
One of the points I made was that we are on familiar ground, it seems every year since about 2001 has been the “year of location”, so I posed the question – this year “are we there yet?”.
Well clearly a lot has changed in the last ten years, devices are now very powerful, despite what they may think the mobile networks operators are no longer major players (bottlenecks) in the value chain, and with hybrid location technology from the likes of Google and Skyhook location determination is straightforward and ubiquitous .
More than anything else this last point and the fact that location is exposed through simple operating system level functions or via modern browsers means that it is trivial to add location to any application almost for free. This has fuelled the massive interest in bringing location into social applications, from Facebook to Twitter, foursquare to yelp, people are at last central to location based services.
I tried to make the point that actually places only really exist as a reflection of society..
Place = Location (points of interest) + People
As Gary Gale pointed out in another one of his seminal presentations there is still a “lot of stuff” we need to better understand about managing places.
Surprisingly there was little focus on the years “hot topic” of Augmented Reality, other than an inspirational presentation from Claire of Local AR stars Layar.
Overall a very enjoyable conference, in many ways not so different to ten years ago but now with a few clear areas of areas of agreement.
- Location is now mainstream – no really.
- “social” is as an important contextual signal as location.
- There is little money to be made with pure location outside a few niche vertical apps, it’s real value comes from it’s ability to better customise content specific to individual users.
Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)