Geo-awareness as a hot 2006 trend
In the Innovation Lab hottest tendencies and trends of 2006, there is this:
GEO-AWARENESS: The filling station knows you're on your way, and – via the navigating system in your car or your mobile – it will send you an offer on the petrol, and at the same time it will advertise the dish of the day in the station's cafeteria.
The term geo- or context awareness covers services putting you on the world map – on the Net as in the physical world – when you're communicating, or just staying online. It is a marriage of information and situation. Your surroundings – fellow man, as your own and others' mobile units and the services you subscribe to – will know your location and make relevant information available. No matter where you are. One example of the veritable explosion in service feasibilities through geo-awareness is www.plazes.com where you share your physical position with others, and where, at the same time, you can receive information about who and what you'll find in your immediate vicinity.
The list is aimed at describing "prevailing tendencies permeating research, product development and service design within the field of information technology" It "outlines the ten most commented, applied, discussed and "hot" tendencies right now". Why do I blog this? even though I do agree with the facts that location-awareness applications are a hot trend in research and R&D (+ some prototypes have been shipped to the market), I am a bit skeptical about the applications described in this snippet. As I already mentioned, there are lots of contextual issues (not to mention usability problems of finding a restaurant on a google map on the small screen of my nokia phone). I am pretty sure there is a lot more to grasp from location-based technologies that would go beyond place-based annotations or information sent to you based on your current/expected location. But it's tough, especially if we don't want the sent information to be disruptive (cell phone spam like proximity-based advertisement?) or that it leads to privacy-problems.