Day One – Web 2.0 Summit & Social Location in Day 2

Fantastic first day and night in San Francisco for the 2009 Web 2.0 Summit. Intel sponsored last night’s reception in the courtyard at the Westin, right before Carly Fiorina almost declared that she was running for the California Senate. John Battelle tried to coax the answer out of her to no avail.

Complete Video recap of Day One is here.

Day 2 promises to hold some interesting technology topics on tomorrow’s web.

First up: Nokia on Social Location – Nokia OVI is a new platform based on GPS utilizing social location apps, currently shipping w/ many of its devices and mobile phones.

Nokia talked about how the ways of connecting people have changed. Users are increasingly connecting to different services, cloud objects, etc. in addition to the traditional direct dials/texts to individuals. Massive growth in Social Networking is a common prediction, now measured as the 4th most popular online activity. Mobile users will continue to demand more SNS (Social Networking Services), yet with Mobile, a entirely new usage model will need to evolve to satisfy unique mobile needs. The mobile and location-aware client is expanding the current SNS landscape.

The oft quoted “Mobile is the next big thing” is true. However, the current SNS services will need to evolve to meet new mobile usage models, or fail to other future SNS that take better advantage of a mobile user base. Nokia is on the right path by opening up their API to a developer community, taking advantage of new location data in new apps.

My biggest question is w/ GPS itself. How can a 1970’s technology and 1.0 approach to connection serve us in the 2.0 and increasing 3.0 World? For one, indoors is potentially the biggest problem. Another is the focal point. It’s all about the (dumb) client. In other words, it is the “I’m here” technology, just like the 1970’s was the “Me” decade. Meaning these mobile devices only have “receive-only” location capabilities via broadcasted GPS positioning data.

When will location devices become 2.0? 2.0 devices that are able to share their location in a mesh architecture. I.e. my netbook communicating w/ my mobile device, with my keys and my car going 70mph in an urban canyon? And more importantly, the car next to me so I don’t crash!

Nokia’s looking at the Indoor problem w/ a-GPS and Wi-Fi mapping of nodes for location data. As are many other device and component manufacturers, that’s all fine and good. It’s the 2.0 lens that I’m craving. I want to know if my Facebook friends or Twitter followers are sitting behind me in this conference room. Or, if anyone on my plane is heading to the same hotel so we can share a cab. When will my devices know where they are in relation to each other? That’s when LBS and social location will really take off.

For now, Ovi by Nokia will be an interesting service to watch for Location Based Services.

3 thoughts on “Day One – Web 2.0 Summit & Social Location in Day 2

  1. Excellent points. When will location become more than the macro-view of Google Maps? Location based services need far more that wifi mapping, war driving and assisted-GPS.
    Looking forward to a true location aware future.
    Ayub Rafah

  2. Bryan – insightful questions. I don’t see others asking these valid questiins. But there is a whole tech gap that needs to be filled before we can forgoe GPS or other non-terrestrial LBS capabilities.
    Privacy, legal and other concerns need to happen before micro LBS is a trusted platform for the public. They also need to see the business value. Which is totally there as you state, but most solution providers haven’t gotten to 2.0 as you correctly statr.
    Good #w2s today!

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