Boring Location Based Services part2.
Last monday, I had a quick discussion with Russell Buckley from Mobhappy about the small amount of LBS that are really interesting and customer/user oriented. I already commented on his previous post about boring LBS (which triggered a good discussion with Roger from Kaywa). Then Russell posted a good note after that I sent him the poor scenarios Intel envisioned for his LBS services (GPS augmented by WiFi): "the technology could be used, for example, to alert you if your dog leaves the yard, to decide which printer on a network is most efficient for a pending print job, or to determine the shortest route to an emergency exit in a building". Russell summarized the two ways of innovating (and lively debate in lots of places :) ): techno-push ("invent something cool and clever and hope there'll be a use for it") and market-pull ("look at user behaviour, identify a problem and then look to invent something that'll solve it"). Currently LBS are exactly at the point where both approaches are used and not-so-many compelling applications came up. Of course there are specific niche market in which LBS has been successful but clearly in terms of mass-market nothing emerged. Maybe non-mobile LBS like google maps (and all the corollary mash-ups) are the most advanced applications. In addition, games and art installation + map hacking/geowanking are great too but what's next? We're all working (struggling?) on it.