Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Location Based Services for mobile and social networking

I have always been a fan of LBS based services, There is so much that can be achieved from this technology. LBS provides the user with two way communication model. Users can request the kind of information he needs, and the operator can cater to the user needs by filtering the content.
Location based services can be classified as push and pull approach.
Pull services: user request information based on his current locationfor e.g.: Like calling a taxi, or searching for a good restaurant.
Push services: Information delivered to the user that was not requested. For e.g.: Shopping mall discount coupons, tornado/weather warning sent to users in the current location. This could be either Ad based or subscription based service.
Having talked about advantages of LBS, There are some downsides to this technology.
Privacy intrusion (whether people really want their friends to know where they are all the time)
Security (Imagine, if child finder enabled phone goes into the wrong hand)
GPS enabled handset. Not sure what is the penetration of these GPS enabled handset worldwide. I beleive this is grow over a period of time.

Location based services can be used in so many different scenarios. To name a few-
Location based Dating
Social networking/Mobile Social networking
Buddy Finder/ Friend finder
location based Advertisement
location based business locator
tourism guides with text popup in different locations
Navigation
Mobile yellow pages
Traffic management
Car Parking guide
Mobile games
Emergency Services

Here is a list of companies that provide location based service for mobile and social netwokring
Loopt
An early bird in location based social mapping service. It was first launched with boost mobile and later announced a deal with sprint. It can be used as a friend finder, tags places and create events. The cool feature of loopt is, you can take a picture from your mobile phone, tag it with the current location and share the same with your friends. This can also be used a child tracker by parents.

Dodgeball
Dodgeball can be used to broadcast your location or send messages to group of friends from you mobile phone. This can be accomplished by sending a sms message to 36343("dodge"). Pretty popular and an early bird in this type of service. Google bought this company. The downside of this product is, you have to keep updating you location by sending sms message.

Kakiloc
Kakiloc is a location based social networking service. It’s currently in beta and u need to register with them to get an invitation. I couldn’t get much information about this company since I don’t have an invitation :-). From based on whatever it says in the website, looks like it’s has some good features that will entice more users to join the service.

Socialight
Social light is mobile location aware application that allows you to write notes about the favorite places you visit. A notification is sent to your friends who go around the same place. You can also write/create sticky notes on the map with your favorite restaurant, bars, temple etc using the web interface.

Jaiku
Im adding jaiku in location based list since it supports a variation of all the service required in addition to location updates and presence. A competitor to twitter and lately pownce. You can actually download jaiku client on the handset. Off course, very few models are supported currently. Using this product, users can post jaikus (like twitter), see their updates and presence. I have installed jaiku on my nokia 6600. On the downside, they have too many options on the handset client. Might be a little confusing to average Joe.

ipling
ipling is the latest LBS based mobile dating service. Registration is free, once registered successfully you can create your own circle and look for matches outside the circle. Based on the text you type, you can get hooked with other social members in that area. It can be used as a mobile dating service. It has launched its service optimized for Apple iPhone enabling users to discover and communicate with people who share similar interests

Also, we will see some exciting location based mashups from google and sprint, that have partnered for wimax network. Helio is another example of LBS service

Digg this

51 comments:

Alan said...

Great post. I would also add Brightkite to the list. It's a location-based social network as well as a platform for other LBS applications. - thanks, Alan

omfut said...

Thanks alan for the information. I looked at brightkite website. Interesting company, hoping to get an invite to try out the service. Looking at their blog, it seems like they dont have a product yet. Guess its more like a platform ?

Cheers,
omfut

Scott said...

May also want to add GeoVector.

We have launched a local search application in Japan (Mapion Pointing Appli) that also takes into account the users heading (what direction they are pointing there phone) to narrow down the search to only show objects in that direction.

Ivan said...

where.com?

Anonymous said...

How about my favorite site ever- HopStop.com! :-)

Anonymous said...

How about aka-aki.com, sixsense.com, meetro.com and bunch of others? There are/were tons of them using different location technologies. Everybody remembers only dodgeball just cause goog bought them. More here too: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/09/11/ the-holy-grail-for-mobile-social-networks/

Abava said...

one more: http:/map.linkstore.ru
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Anonymous said...

We launched a location based match making /dating application called "Vicinity Match". As you travel, it finds your match within 100 meters from your current location.
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http://www.celltrigen.com

Big Red Zebra said...

My company has just launched an LBS service in Frankfurt, Germany. We are also using CellID technology, similar to Google My Location, but our application doesn't connect to any server so users incur no runtime (data connection) costs. Also, because we don't make server connections our application is really fast! Check out www.bigredzebra.de (available in English and German)

Andrew Grill said...

Have a look also at Seeker Wireless who are making headway in the lcoation space around Fixed Mobile Substitution - and this location accracy can also be applied to the Google My Location style of application quite easily.

Disclaimer: I run Sales & Marketing for Seeker Wireless.

Gnaw said...

I actually reposted this comment many times before. FYI
------------------------
Recently I browsed around about the location-based services (LBS). Most people believe it would be the next big thing or killer app. Quite a few others have different opinion. e.g.,

http://www.smallsurfaces.com/2008/06/do-we-need-lbs/
http://www.lewebmobile.com/2008/06/do-humans-really-need-location-based.html

Here I can possibly present one opinion from the consumer/end-user perspective, which I have posted in some other places too.

Do we need LBS so badly?

Before I really go to the details. Let me give a review of one simple concept and theory here, which are called “Home Range Concept” and “Traffic Pattern Theory”.

Home Range Concept. It is a concept that can be traced back to a publication in 1943 by W. H. Burt, who constructed maps delineating the spatial extent or outside boundary of an animal’s movement during the course of its everyday activities.

Traffic Pattern Theory. A people’s daily activity pattern is pretty regular, which comprises of several major events, such as school, work, home, shopping.

As I remember, a technical explanation of traffic pattern theory can be found in a report by Stefan Schonfelder, STRC 2001.

http://www.strc.ch/schoenfe.pdf

What happened here is if you are looking at the traffic pattern of a person, saying a full-time employed, 45 years, car, 3-person-household, one child, the regular activity route is so LIMITED. So, does this mean …

A more detailed explanation of LBS for mobiles can be found by
http://to.swang.googlepages.com/
http://to.swang.googlepages.com/lbs

Henit said...

Hi everyone.

A few days ago, I was surfing the web and I found out a project that works over most mobile phones which lets you know where your friends are in real time and update your status in twitter. It´s called Dimdix.

On their website they say you don´t need a GPS system to detect your location. Does anyone know how this works?

I´m using a Motorola L7 and amazingly it detected my location.

I cannot stop thinking of all the things I could do with it.

If anyone wants to take a look you can go here

Thanks,

Regards,



Juan

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