Location Based Services Leading To Smart Places
from the just-how-smart-do-we-want-our-locations-to-be? dept
People have been talking about location-based services for ages, but it's getting more and more attention lately as all the pieces are falling into place to make it more of a reality. While not all of the location-based applications that eventually show up will fit into the sort of applications people expected, it's clear that "smart places" are at least drawing a lot more attention. The Guardian newspaper in the UK has a good overall roundup of a variety of location-based services that companies are experimenting with. Right now, they mostly focus on things like tourist information, such as audio guides that can be dialed into - along with the ability to leave your own feedback. The writer suggests that RFID may be the missing ingredient to make such services even more valuable, by allowing more pinpoint use of location info. This certainly beats some of the applications that people were originally predicting for location-based services - where the restaurant you were walking by would spam you with a coupon. When the content is both interactive and user requested, things begin to get a lot more interesting. Combined with realtime information (for example: traffic info, event info or location of other friends) location-based services become increasingly useful, without most of the downsides. The main fear is still the privacy issue, but properly implemented (a big if) most of these can be solved.