Today, I’m at ThinkPanmure’s Think Tomorrow — Today VC summit in Half Moon Bay, California. As Where 2.0 is happening as we speak on the other side of the hill, some attention to location awareness has been paid here as well.
A panel discussion this morning on the convergence of fixed and mobile telecommunications stressed the opportunity for enterprise applications that tap wireless LANs to track people and inventory where GPS signals deteriorate (read: indoors).
Beyond the enterprise, many consumer local search opportunities begin to come into focus where purchase decisions are driven primarily by proximity to categories, stores or SKUs. Call Genie’s Garry Galinsky stressed this point at Drilling Down on Local a few weeks ago.
NearbyNow focuses on mobile shopping search (primarily SMS) based on close proximity to stores (intra shopping mall). These types of searches could gain more traction as location enabling technologies are integrated and generally improve to the point of more mainstream appeal.
Broadly, the importance of location targeting for both SMB and national advertisers seems to be gaining more attention lately. Skyhook (see previous post) is a leading technology enabler, while Placecast is an ad network focusing on location-based targeting. This will be an important area of development.