Saturday, 14 May 2011

Where am I ?– please provide my location!

Though Smart Phones are here to conquer our lives and have already conquered the lives of many in other parts of the world, I still feel that the plain, old school, ubiquitous SMS has no match.
Consider the amount of reading that you have to do for using mobile applications.There are certain app features that either go unnoticed or are never utilized.
Off late I have been reading a lot about Location Based Services (LBS). I'll be writing another post as a primer on LBS. As I understand there are a host of cool things that can be done by using LBS like, find a date, a hotel, a restaurant, a friend or tap into the hyper local offers that are up for grabs in an area close to you; integration of social media like facebook on LBS apps etc etc. But, how many of you have actually used these services?
My opinion is that a wide scale LBS adoption will be driven by the incremental steps in the right direction, that target the bottom of the pyramid i.e. the population which has yet not embraced the smart phones.
Atleast I have not come across a single and simple SMS based LBS application that allows me to do the following:
1. I send SMS to a Short / Long code with a keyword say WhrIm (meaning, where I am) or could be any easy to remember keyword.
I expect a response like <City Name>, <City Area>, <Closest Landmark> and <Points of Interest around my current location radius>.
2. I send SMS to a Short / Long code with a keyword say Destination.
I expect a response like <Current Location> and <Turn by Turn Directions to the destination location from my current location>.
3. I send SMS to a Short / Long code with a keyword say MyFamily.
I expect a response like <Your Spouse with mobile no. XXXXX> is currently at <Location Address>.
My overall expectation from the service is:
1. Easy one time IVR / SMS based registration for the service.
2. Accuracy of results.
3. Moderate pricing for consumption of the service say INR 30/ - INR 40/month
Please excuse my ignorance, if there is such a service available in India, please let me know. I’ll await your comments.

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