For all the talk of check-ins, geofences and the mythical Starbucks coupon pushed out to passing pedestrians, consumers have been slow to take up location-based services. One problem is that it’s been hard for developers to add real-time location-awareness. Another is the drain on people’s cellphone batteries from these services. Now, a Portland, Ore., startup says it’s ready to take location-based services to the next level with a new developer SDK that it believes makes incorporating location services into apps easier.
Geoloqi launched its location platform today, offering developers and business customers a complete stack of geolocation tools, including geo-fencing, messaging, security and analytics. The start-up created by Amber Case and Aaron Perecki is designed to help developers enable persistent background location tracking that can incorporate location information from cellular networks, GPS and Wi-Fi. And it does it in a way that’s very battery efficient, attacking one of the key shortcomings of other location tools.
Geoloqi offers a cross platform SDK for iOS and Android that can be ported to Windows and other devices and can work on any carrier network. Developers can enable geofencing, automatic check-ins and location-based messaging, which is one of the most promising opportunities for marketers to target consumers. There’s also rich analytics for tracking users, dwell time, visitors and geofencing.
Geoloqi and competitors like Walkbase, which I wrote about last month, show how location-based services may be poised to turn a corner. If developers can start reliably adding location features that are light on the battery, secure and private, we might see the dawn of what’s been called the age of persistant location. Companies like Urban Airship, with its purchase of SimpleGeo, Placecast, Xtify and others have been helping push this reality forward, but now we’re seeing even more tools to help bring location-based services to life.
Case told me Geoloqi is trying to bridge the first and second generations of location based services and enable a lot more developers and customers to add location services. “I don’t think an off-the-shelf developer has the ability to do this; they have a limited time frame,” said Case. “What we found is everyone who contacted us, they want these features, they just don’t want to build it.”
Case said one of the biggest selling points is the way Geoloqi handles background location tracking. For example, instead of pinging servers constantly, Geoloqi understands when a person is nowhere near a geofence and can ramp down GPS to conserve battery life.
Geoloqi got some earlier attention with its mobile app of the same name that originally enabled automatic check-ins, location sharing and location-based reminders. But the app was meant as more of a showcase to the real work Geoloqi was doing behind the scenes. It quickly got noticed by companies and government agencies, who were anxious to add some of Geoloqi’s features. Case said thousands have already signed up for the SDK with the biggest customers enterprise and government developers with other mobile developers making up 20-30 percent.