I’ve been rambling on for a few years about the burgeoning growth of location-based services (LBS). A few years ago, I read a report regarding the use of LBS in Japan. The Japanese have been enjoying (that maybe too broad of a characterization) LBS since 2001, when the first GPS-enabled phones were introduced.
America is finally catching up.
Geolocation certainly is an interesting technology. I am not going to say the technology is good or bad. Technology is a TOOL. Technology is AMORAL. Not IMMORAL but amoral; a complete absence of good or bad. How technology is used depends on ethics and morals of the wielders. Machetes can cut down shrubs and bushes, making an effective path. Machetes can also bludgeon and amputate limbs.
Businesses around the world are looking to further push their goods and services into the market. What better way than to push out coupons to people within a few blocks of a store? If you are in town, and need to find a restaurant, check your phone; the restaurant will TELL you where it is and give you a map and driving directions! Awesome, huh?
Many parents are installing apps in their children’s phones to make sure the kids are where they say they are. Or, at least aid in finding a lost phone.
On the other hand, with the ubiquity of cell phones, coupled to the right apps, your presence could be discovered by lots of people, friends, family, Macy’s, BestBuy, and all law enforcement agencies, and maybe even people that do not have your best interests at heart.
The possibilities cannot even be imagined, really, not fully.