Geo-Loco 2010: The Future of Geo-Location, Part Two

By July 21, 2010

What is the future of geolocation? A Geo-Loco 2010 panel this morning responded to predictions collected by moderator Dr. Phil Hendrix, which attempt to predict what the ecosystem will look like 2014. Here’s the second half o

f the predictions. Read the first part here.

Prediction 6. Mobile devices scanning QR and bar codes will revolutionize how consumers access information.

Not as much agreement on this one. Ron noted that getting business owners to use QR codes will be painful. “Any model that requires a business owner to take an action is difficult,” he said. “Things like Google Goggles that require no intervention by business owner will be much more scalable.”

Liebhold worried that the physical world will create digital noise. “Codes are physical spam,” he said. “We don’t want to pollute the environment with a bunch of gross data.”

7. LBS will be integrated with social networks.

The panelists agreed on this, as it has pretty much already happened. What was surprising is the amount of concern the panelists expressed about the potential dangers of this union.

“We need to educate people and make sure they want to have control over their location info,” Eisnor said.

“There are going to be really horrible stories about stalking,” Liebhold said. “Politicians will go crazy and legislate something. Facial recognition is probably the most dangerous technology -- you can’t opt out of having your face scanned.”

8. Location will enable and foster better relationships. The equivalent of a local web will emerge.

Another mixed reaction.

“This is one of the best things that can happen with location,” Gannes said. “The incentives are aligned.”

“I’m very excited about local commerce,” Eisnor said. “Even twitter allows me to have a commercial p2p transaction. I can trade my bamboo for your lettuce over Twitter.”

“Location and geo-info foster existing communities; they don't create new ones,” Ron said.

9. Users will be reluctant to pay for LBS.

One thing's for sure: people will pay for games. “Location-based games will explode,” Liebhold said. “Video games will jump out of console into real world.”

Paid models are needed for evolution, Eisnor said. “Subscription and payment models will force us to create more value,” she said. “Static information that doesn’t change will get commodified."

Gannes kind of put the good and evil into a single phrase: “Despite awful spam, this will be great for advertising,” she said.

And of course, as with everything, there's the business-model problem.

“How to make money is a challenge," Ron said. "We don’t have a scalable business model that will flow the money.”

10. What are the panelists’ own predictions?

Eisnor: We’ll navigate more based on time, not location. “We need a search engine based on location,” Ron said.

Gannes: I’m really excited about real-world gaming.

Liebhold: We’ll have the 1st gen AR glasses by 2014, but they’ll be bad. Will create mini boom

Scoble: A lot of these silos will stitch together.

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