Since colleague Martin Howitt first shared his idea about a location based architecture I’ve seen so many opportunities and areas in which it could add huge value.
So when I saw the latest developments within IOS5 and the new method for managing tasks across devices I naturally got a little bit excited.
Like Remember the Milk, Reminders can be set up to be location-aware. Thus, when you’re approaching your house, you’ll get a notification reminding you to take out the trash. When you get to the office, a whole new list of reminders will come up.
Reminders will sync wirelessly across devices using Apple’s new iCloud feature. This includes syncing with Outlook and iCal on the desktop.
I accept this feature has been in other apps like remember the milk and even to some degree foursquare and gowalla (albeit non task focused but information flow) but if you could add some additional workflow layer to get wider benefits this could truly transform the consumer and business user’s experience with a smart phone.
I’ve briefly blogged about stages and themes of social media development within organisation…
5) “check in” for content and services around me and for me
I am not currently aware of any council really progressing this aspect, but I know some are using services such as foursquare and Facebook places as a method to engage customers/citizens.
Essentially it is about using the location-based services as a means to access particular services or content. An example might be within libraries, someone checks in and then is made aware of a particular offer or event that is being promoted, a simple process really but it does take some planning and co-ordination across channels in order to maximise the opportunity.
An internal example here might be a public sector worker checks into a public building and is pushed tasks via workflow…….
6) “push notification” for content and services around me and for me
This is the only evolutionary step in these stages/themes as this is really pushing the previous stage/theme to a more proactive level and again building on the location-based architecture approach.
The main difference in this area is that i wouldn’t need to check in, in order to be pushed tasks, my smart device which naturally has GPS (ok this is a future thing as we need connectivity and devices to catch up), knows where I am and pushes a notification as I pass within a reasonable distance of a public building/space where I have tasks to complete.
Stages/themes 5 and 6 both require a significant underlying architecture and infrastructure in order to maximise the value and opportunity. This post is not the post to explain the infrastructure, that will have to be another time.
IOS5 is obviously a great step forward and as a current iPhone and iPad user i look forward to using this feature.
I hope however for the consumer market and developer community that other mobile platforms follow suit and look to embed these features into the operating system and exploit the users “location” to drive information and tasks directly to them.
The potential and opportunity could be increased further with a gamification layer, linked data but i need to think further on how these would actually work in reality.
For some this is just might be another mundane Apple update, but for me this signals a new opportunity and direction for location-based data.