Trying to work out what will be a trend is a form of prediction and prediction is a risky business …
… as Thomas Watson
… and Ken Olsen found out the hard way. But throwing caution to the wind, here’s my 5 trends for location for 2011 …
As an industry there's still work to do; location privacy impacts the user experience, applications and back-end services. It's unreasonable to expect that an industry wide privacy standard will emerge any time soon but we need to ensure that the benefits of location and their privacy aspects are better understood by location service users. The alternative is that an event will bring privacy to the mass media's attention in a wholly undesirable way.
Sensor convergence. A-GPS is now considered de facto for today's smartphone platforms. 2011 will see more sensors incorporated into nomadic devices to take location to areas where A-GPS has challenges, such as indoor or underground navigation.
Although it’s trend number 3 of 5 I think this is probably the biggest and most important trend; the realisation that location is a key feature, not a business in itself.
And trend 3 segues neatly into trend 4. The cliche of the Internet being an "information hosepipe" is more true today than it ever was; people are looking for ways of finding what they need, where the need it from the morass of data available over a 'net connection. Location is but one of the key technologies that can help increase relevance. This probably means less apps but more useful work being undertaken by those apps.
And finally, I was going to call out increased use of geo-fencing, possibly with automated check-in and check-out of places as a trend. But then I woke up this morning and discovered that Google has updated Latitude last night to do both of these. I fully expect we’ll see a lot more of this in the coming months.
5 Location Trends For 2011
Five Location Trends For 2011<br />Gary Gale, Director Ovi Places<br />email@example.com<br />mashup* Digital Trends 2011<br />London, February 2011<br />51.510906, -0.121949<br />
About …<br />Director, Ovi Places, Nokia<br />Previously Director, Yahoo! Geo Technologies<br />Blogger: http://www.vicchi.org<br />Tweeter: http://twitter.com/vicchi<br />Tom Coates on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/plasticbag/4475788424/<br />