LBS delusion (again)
(Via Small Surfaces), this "Do humans really need location based services?" is interesting at it covers some of the questions I am wondering about when it comes to the potential of LBS. An excerpt I found intriguing:
"Even though I am confident that there will certainly be significant growth in some areas (i.e. vehicle tracking, in-car traffic information) I doubt that someday everyone will be using Google’s "Search nearby" feature to find the next ATM, restaurant or supermarket.
Even though mobility and travel has increased tremendously, the majority of people still roam in just a few locations and in general they do not move far from home. Vacations and business travel are exceptions - the percentage of time individuals spend in locations they don’t know is very small. (...) I strongly believe that there will be a market for location based services. Nevertheless I think one has to shift focus from the technical possibilities that GPS-enabled, connected mobile devices potentially offer. The key is to understand the potential users of these location-based services in order to be able to find the next "location-based killer app"."
What I find intriguing here is the coupling of the need for LBS and the recent results about people's mobility showed in the last issue of Nature. It seems indeed that apart from navigational LBS (in-car GPS), other applications (such as location-based annotations and friend finders) are failing to find a user base.
Why do I blog this? interesting elements to be added to my list of LBS issues that I presented at O'Reilly ETech 2008 (see my slides on Slideshare). Although there are more and more "yet another LBS" projects recently, i am also noticing that people increasingly start to raise eye-brows about it (see for example Joe MacCarthy's blogpost about meetro) 2007 was about the delusion of the non-satNAV LBS pioneers and 2008 start to get some interesting criticisms and afterthoughts about LBS.
Interestingly, one of the comment of this blogpost is about the fact that "the title is intriguing as it suggests that there might be someone else (machines, m2m, the web of things) who will make use of LBS more than we will do (location-based APIs?)". As it surely connects with 2006 discussions about blogjects or the idea of "new interaction partners" (the presence of pets in the internet of things).