LBS Picks and Shovels: A Conversation With Locomatix

Locomatix-logo

I recently had the chance to follow up with Locomatix, a company I was first introduced to at our ILM:10 show. Utilizing technology developed at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), it joins the emerging sector of platforms and toolsets to build location-based services.

More specifically, it’s bringing together ways to track and utilize the increasing data points that are relevant to our mobile lives. This gets to the concept of mobile discovery that keeps coming up — better targeting mobile users and proactively pushing content to them.

There are a number of ways Locomatix is trying to differentiate in this area, including proprietary location tracking information. It also brings together a growing list of other relevant data points, like temperature, which affect the context or urgency of certain content.

CEO Jignesh Patel gives the example of its metro transit app, which pushes messages to users about delays or arrival times. This comes in handy in places like Madison, because the exact factors causing delays also make it unpleasant to wait outside for the bus.

Other ways the company hopes to differentiate include enterprise applications. In some industries there are myriad variables that can be measured for more efficient asset management. That can include everything from shipping fleets to library books.

The entire platform is cloud-based, which allows it to operate across many devices and provide a more scalable end product. Meanwhile, it’s beginning to turn heads by receiving awards like MobileBeat’s 20 Hottest Startups and CTIA’s 16 Innovative Showcase companies.

The company is also pursuing social media, with the continued growth at the 3-way intersection of mobile, local and social. With more geotagged information and status updates from the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, there should be room to grow here.

The company recently put together a geotagged heat map of Tweets in San Francisco, shown below. It’s just one eye-catching example but has implications for sentiment analysis, mobile usage and lots of other stuff that will come to light. We’ll keep a close eye.

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