Mobilize: Location-Based Services, Forget the Starbucks Model

Guess what, guys — the location-based mobile model of the coffee coupon getting pinged to your phone as you walk by Starbucks is tired. Location is all about adding relevancy to applications already being used. That was the contention of Mobilize’s LBS panel. Thank you, let’s retire that caffeine-fueled scenario.

GigaOM Mobilize conference -- Location-based services panel

GigaOM Mobilize conference -- Location-based services panel

But location is becoming more and more important as a way to make mobile applications richer — and more valuable. Steve Lee, Project Manager at Google, said Google’s mobile applications that are location-enabled can double their usage and Android’s SDK has location APIs for building location applications. The CEO of Skyhook, Ted Morgan, pointed out that most new devices will have some kind of location services enabled, whether it’s Wi-Fi, cellular or GPS. Lee Ott, Global Director of Yahoo oneSearch, said that location matters more as a tool for other services, but that location is here and real, and we should “keep the faith.”

GigaOM Mobilize conference -- Location-based services panel

GigaOM Mobilize conference -- Location-based services panel

However, the panelists also noted that we need to walk before we run. Most of the panelists said their mobile LBS services were generating revenues, but also that it’s still early days.

It always seems to be early days in mobile location — will we always be waiting?

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