With mobile devices becoming more common, and increasingly more sophisticated we’re seeing a grater emphasis on mobile content. One of the most intriguing things with this is the ability to serve location based content.
Kinan Sweidan of ximda.com talked about the current state of Geo Location, how this technology can be used, and the current limitations of mobile devices.
So how do you find your location through a phone? Here are three ways that Kinan talked about:
- GPS: This is very accurate and requires zero effort for the end User (devices always knows where you are). Limit: not everyone has a GPS enabled device. Limited audience.
- Tower ID:This uses your connection to multiple mobile towers to find your location. Everyone connected to a network can have his or her location found. Limit:Not very accurate.
- Wifi – Bluetooth: Through your connections to wifi networks with a Geo Location, and through blue tooth to the people around you, your location can be defined. Limit: You need to have software installed on your device to be able to use this kind of Geo Location finding. Additionally the accuracy is not 100%
Mobile devices are limiting. So usability is key in any mobile application. The more steps someone has to do to use your service the less likely they are to use it.
Additionally not every device has the same capabilities, and not everyone is willing to install an application to use a service. These are barriers, but they aren’t insurmountable. One option that Kinan suggests to get around this is to use technology that every phone has. SMS for example (Twitter has done a good job creating a useful, relatively easy to use SMS mobile application).
These barriers seem daunting now, but things are changing rapidly. As mobile devices improve the services offered will be stepped up, and GEO Location will be a key component in these new services.