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There are lots of obvious geo-location use cases for consumers. But how can enterprises benefit from geo-location apps? Everyone knows the man in the van – they are installing your cable, technicians fixing heavy equipment in the field, landscaping office parks, repairing medical devices on-site and more. Shouldn’t those businesses be able to benefit from mobile apps that are geo-location aware? Whether they need to pick up and install a new fetzer valve or simply need to know where there next job is, there’s no reason why they can’t benefit from what Gowalla, DoubleDutch and foursquare have done for consumers.
I ran a workshop on Location Based Services [LBS] at SXSW Interactive 2010. The specific session I conducted was titled "LBS 101: Geolocation On The 'Horizon'" –http://sxsw.com/node/5016. LBS is still a highly relevant subject and given that people are still curious and learning about LBS, there's an opportunity for another LBS 101 session targeted towards beginners in the space, but this time we can dig a little bit deeper. Some of the topics I will address include: (1) Locating feature phones vs. smartphones -- can all phones really be located commercially? How? What are the differences between locating different kinds of phones from a technology standpoint, a privacy standpoint, a functional standpoint? (2) The economics of locating phones -- what does it cost? How are wireless carriers and handset manufacturers involved? How are advertisers involved? (3) Types of LBS apps -- are downloadable iPhone/Android apps the only LBS apps? What about SMS and voice apps which have a far greater addressable market and potential for ubiquitous usage? (4) LBS app use cases -- what are some compelling LBS use cases besides the obvious mobile advertising / marketing ones, e.g. fraud detection, roadside assistance, gaming compliance, security, etc. (5) The future of LBS -- who’s using LBS today and who will be using LBS in the coming months/years? With always-on location becoming more pervasive, what new and compelling services will we see? (6) Privacy -- how much transparency do end users have when sharing their location? What incentives are being offered to end users to share location constantly?
11th–15th March 2011