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

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Homegrown LBS & Locative Gaming

Looking through my 'location-based services' technorati watchlist today, I found some interesting articles:
Location-based services confronts the 'empty room' problem
"Now that more and more handsets can make use of location-based data, someone needs to populate those services with data. Some are taking unique approaches to filling databases with data."
A The Feature article about the catch-22 of attracting enough users & content for LBS, illustrating how small, niche players are building their own apps and how these will become the building blocks for the future mass-adoption of LBS. This reminds me of a post I did last month about a homegrown ski field social GPS application. There's definitely demand from users, it just needs to be marketed really, really well...

Gamers Turn Cities Into A Battleground
"There's an evolution using the mobility of the phone to create completely new gaming experiences," says Tom Söderlund, who worked as a games producer for Swedish games company It's Alive, based in Stockholm. "I think we are going to see more and more games that blend with our real lives."
A nice summary of the location-based games that are out there, including Uncle Roy Is All Around You, Geocaching, Digital Street Game, GPS::Tron, Pac-Manhattan, BotFighters, Semacode hunting, Can You See Me Now?, Gizmondo's Colors. Though I'm sure that a quick Googling of 'location based games' or a browse through pasta & vinegar will yield many more examples, anyway. That's definitely a whole other thesis topic that I'm not even going to try to get into! But very interesting to read about, nonetheless.

Wireless Week: Carriers Find Their Way To LBS
"Wireless carriers have started getting more serious about adding location-based services to their portfolios for both enterprises and consumers.
...
In-Stat, a sister company of Wireless Week, found in a survey of consumers last fall that 85.6 percent of wireless subscribers are interested in at least one LBS application. The applications drawing the most interest were driving directions, maps on phones, local traffic updates, mobile city guides and local weather information. Less-popular applications included child tracking, 411 directory assistance, friend finder and location-based games."
This article is a month old now, but still a really good one to read if you haven't already seen it. It goes through the major US players, the types of applications users are interested in (both consumer & business), and gives a really good general overview of where LBS is at currently.

Finally, remember to register for the NZ Wireless Forum LBS Event next month if you haven't done so already! =)

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