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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Crunkie

Via mobilewatch: Crunkie

'Crunkie™ is a new, free service for your mobile phone and the Web that combines social networking, mobile blogging, and geographic location. With Crunkie™, you can browse interactive maps on your mobile phone or online. Crunkie™ will enable you to see where it's at:

  • Find your friend's location on your mobile phone and meet up
  • Create and swap location-tagged photos and messages
  • Discover and broadcast your new favorite places'
It's great that there's actually lots of LBS apps popping up now for people to download & try out, but I wonder what Crunkie's business model is? Given that they're offering the software for free... That aside, there's also the fact that you actually have to set your own location - i.e. it is not really automatically location-sensitive:
'To set your location, simply move the cross-hair to the location you'd like to identify yourself with, press the fire button and select Set My Location. This will mark your position on the map for you and your friends to see. You will also be given the chance to send a text message with your location update to your friends.'
Then again, this is probably because it's the only feasible way to implement such a service at the moment. However, it won't be incredibly useful if you're moving around, is it? Or if you actually want to coordinate activities with friends in a given location such as a shopping centre - does the location info get any more specific than the building level? Though I'm not sure that anyone can offer that level of specificity at the moment... It also assumes that you already know where you are on a map (so no 'where am I?' services), which may not always be the case.

Crunkie is only supported by a limited range of mobiles (Nokia 3620, Nokia 3650, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Motorola V505, Motorola V600, Audiovox SMT5600), but this is a problem that most LBS application providers will probably face - at least you still have a choice of different manufacturers, with a good selection from Nokia.

Finally, as with most other mobile social networking apps, this will probably require some sort of critical mass to really take off. Since I haven't really heard about it till now, not even in the mobile/tech-related blogosphere, I'll assume that this hasn't occured yet... All the best of luck to them though!

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