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

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Windows Mobile 5.0

If you're interested in mobiles, especially smartphones, then this Channel 9 video about Windows Mobile 5.0 is essential stuff! Even though they never use the specific term, they do talk about location-based services, e.g. the usual 'where am I' and people-tracking applications; they also mention some travel/tourism uses. It's very nice to see how excited they are about all these developments in the mobile space - however, 'normal' people's reactions to this kind of technology is an entirely different matter!

The 'early/late majority' are hugely concerned about privacy, and many of them don't really see the value in LBS apart from in emergency situations - the rest of the time, they're not going to buy into it unless: 1) their privacy/security concerns are fully addressed, 2) there is no cheaper, easier alternative, i.e. asking people on the street for directions, and 3) it is easy to use and very reliable - if it messes up the first few times they try it, they'll be put off for a long time. This is especially important for applications such as people-tracking, where a very real paranoia exists, and this won't be able to be glossed over just by sheer coolness. Lots of them see existing ways of communication (such as email, IM, voice calls and SMS) to be sufficient for their day-to-day needs.

Of course, it's still really important for the technology to keep advancing, but Moore's Chasm is becoming increasingly evident in the LBS industry. I think that marketing will play a key role in crossing this gap between the innovators and the rest of the target market - and hopefully my thesis will make a good contribution in that direction! =)

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