Proliferation of Location based startups
Now that GPS chips are becoming must-have hardware on cell phones, location-based services for mobile devices have finally arrived. They’re even infiltrating the desktop. So it’s time to start sifting through the location-aware company pitches, from newly launched apps to platforms. We’ve all heard about Google’s Latitude and Loopt, but here’s a quick rundown of some of the other interesting LBS efforts out there:
This company launched at SXSW earlier this month along with three other LBS startups. Founder Dennis Crowley, is excited about the appeal of being able to post unusual locations or best recommendations about a place in the guise of a game makes this one a contender.
This service is unusual simply because it tries to make GPS available to all by letting people text their location. This is great if you have a phone without GPS (or are concerned about privacy and want your location updates to be intensely proactive,) but texting your location with the early adopter crowd seems kind of wierd.
LiteScape Technologies today unveiled 3deep (it launches this summer), which integrates location info with calendar availability and presence awareness. If it can get built into unified communications efforts coming out from Microsoft or Cisco, such a platform could be incredibly powerful. It has some relationship with Microsoft on the mobile side, but integrate 3deep with SharePoint and things get both scary (your employer can literally track you) and really useful (check out the screen grab).
This company has been around since 2002, but today it announced $2.5 million in funding to help manage a contract it won last week to deliver real-time traffic information to Google’s Maps service in 20 markets. AirSage grabs cell phone location data to track traffic patterns and will soon use its real-time location data to track roadside advertising exposure based on the number of people driving by billboards.
You will see a plethora of options available to consumers in the near future which will somewhat enrich thier lives. A lot of them will be advertiser funded as brands would like to latch on to such “value content” to engage with audiences on the go. I think the critical aspect will be how they entwine their messages within the “value content” or service for that matter. For sure, putting up an ad without any context will definitely not make any sense.
Let’s see who will be first of the brands to start getting into this space…..watch out for more updates on this.