15 February 2008

Time for businesses to get serious about location technology

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location-aware technologies
Information Week published a long story about location-aware technologies.

“Even more difficult than employees’ privacy concerns will be those of consumers, once companies start reaching people based on where they are. For years we’ve heard the notion of a coupon being sent to a cell phone as someone passes by a burger joint, but there’s never been a mass market for that. Targeted, real-time location-based advertising risks going beyond annoying to being downright creepy. “Cell phones are a personal experience,” says Joe Walsh, head of business development and operations for SquareLoop. To give it the proper respect, companies should think about people wearing their cell phones on their hips. “Touching someone’s hip is a personal thing,” he says. SquareLoop offers different ring tones and vibrate modes to differentiate its alerts.

Yet, what’s looking likely to emerge is consumers willingly trading their feeling of location anonymity for some value, such as better search, the chance to “bump into” someone nearby–or just maybe even that coupon. “Privacy in the end won’t be a roadblock,” says Jaap Groot, CEO of FindWhere, a location-based services vendor that recently acquired a platform called Livecontacts to let people share their their location and media content via mobile phone with their social network.”

Read full story

(via Usability News)

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