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Summary:

Blazing fast networks, cheap silicon, always-on devices and a torrent of data will fundamentally change everything — how we consume media, how we work, and even who we are. We examined 10 areas that show how connectivity is profoundly changing the present and future of technology.

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Location: Where is the new who

By Ryan Kim

Where you are will soon be as important as who you are. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones with embedded GPS, intelligent networks, and a handful of new startups, your location is now a key bit of data that’s fuelling a new set of services for social networks, retailers, and advertisers. Strategy Analytics estimates that location-based services will be a $10 billion market by 2016.

While mobile and web companies have been talking about leveraging location for years, the power of the GPS was first demonstrated to provide value for users in car navigation services (outside of hiking enthusiasts). Later on, Foursquare showed how location, and its “check-ins,” could be a social tool. The phone companies have also dipped a toe in with various services like helping parents track their kids.

Advertisers and brick-and-mortar retailers are still trying to figure out the best ways to help consumers pull relevant location-based information as well as push valuable deals and data to them — and not get rejected as spam or be seen as stalkers. Many are still waiting for a killer app, whether that’s local ads, or location-relevant coupons. Companies like WHERE (bought by eBay), LocalResponse, Placecast, SimpleGeo and others are helping marketers and developers leverage location to reach consumers.

Cell phones are the king of the location-based world. Google says 40 percent of its mobile searches are for local information. That’s not surprising, as it’s when you’re on the go that you really need information about new surroundings.

But the wireless infrastructure itself has begun to change, too. The industry started because GPS is embedded in every cell phone, but now companies like Skyhook are adding location services to other connected devices, and voluntary check-ins are providing a new kind of social location data. Sensors and short-range wireless, like Near Field Communication (NFC), and RFID tags, are adding even more complex location data, and augmented reality is creating an innovative visual element to all of this.

We’re still scratching the surface of location-based services, and there are still a lot of questions to be answered about how best to deal with privacy issues that arise. But location-based services will eventually stop being discrete apps and will instead work their way into almost every app and device.

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  1. The SmartPhone inside the car will change Telematics and the insurance industry. You can now track driving behavior leveraging your smartphone to provide data about your driving. Usage Based Insurance (UBI) will now be a reality. See http://www.locationlabs.com/#

  2. Katie @ Women’s Magazine Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Nothing great in the list still you have covered all of them in one place that’s a unique idea. The best thing according to me is Wireless connectivity of PC’s and my iPhone.

    1. That is only the beginning. The wireless connectivity of your phone with everything in your haouse and your workplace and to pay your bus ticket is nor far ahead.

  3. Katie Fehrenbacher Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    @akash agarwal, totally agree on this. thanks!

  4. @akash agarwal I agree, but why not extend this to other aspects of driving, instead of issuing speeding citations police could just send a standard bill for excessive speeds. We could reduce the cost of policing the roads. Just saying this makes me cringe btw…

  5. What’s “devalued” in this… the person. You are worth nothing because someone anywhere else can do the same job for a fraction of the money. Your work becomes their work with the push of a button….

    1. @sdinfoserv, Your comment makes me think of a recent talk I saw from Thomas Friedman. His message: Basically in this connected world people can’t afford to be average anymore, there’s too much competition with people competing for jobs on a global scale.

  6. took you long enough :-) Holonomy, david bohm, karl pribram… the interconnectenes theory and holonomics, et al, have been waiting for the market to catch up so they (these innately interconnected works from both physics and neuropsych) could be their as guides… For me , I have waited almost 30 yrs for the marketplace.. my own human and hu-sys evolutionary ontology, and associated products born from it – “The EvoReVo!”, EcoMind, OneMind, LeToonz and LeCozmos, and the LeToonz Ah-Ha and Flo (and other) characters-as-variables within the next big shell/OS shift platform, apps and metrics. Thanks for working at punching a whole into the next wave.

  7. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  8. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  9. If you’re in the UK and interested in collaborative consumption, check out Ecomodo.com. A marketplace to lend and borrow your everyday goods, skills and spaces with other’s locally and beyond!

  10. Boissou Jérôme Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/zxM8DQbw

  11. ‎2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL #4sqkr

  12. 2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL http://t.co/tnXeEYwF

  13. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/obaNE7Sc

  14. For trips that are not too far, carpooling is a great travel option to go anywhere instantly. In Europe, it is very popular: students love it for last minute travel when trains or planes are full or too expensive. Mobile apps give you access to rides anywhere: a great back-up plan when you are stuck at the airport and your flight is cancelled.

  15. Jean-Marie Gilliot Thursday, December 1, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/ykTPXisQ joli tableau via @learningdrip

  16. Andy Hadfield Sunday, December 4, 2011

    What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. Watch these spaces y’all. http://t.co/MwaODsiX

  17. PRT @andyhadfield: What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. http://t.co/XCeuULdk

  18. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/KTNv20hJ

  19. Connectivity is great but there is a point at which it is time to shut it off. People need down time and there is too much potential to be connected 24 hours a day

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