4 Location Predictions from Where 2.0

If you’re all about check-ins, location data, and/or GPS then Where 2.0 is where you needed to be. This year I was lucky to attend and it was actually my first time attending an O’Reilly conference. Needless to say I wasn’t sure what to expect outside of what I’ve read about their conferences.

By now you’ve probably read at least two of the huge stories that have emerged from Where 2.0 this year; Apple tracking locations on the iPhone and Foursquare’s focus on future check-ins. Aside from the buzz of those two stories Where 2.0 was jammed packed with the who’s who in the location space. If you are as excited about location and where it will go as I am then you missed a party. 🙂

Most of the sessions that I attended were super technical which was actually a nice change. Most conferences these days actually tend to slant more towards marketing speak and social media. While Where had its share of marketing panels, it was refreshing to have conversations with builders and people who really understand what you are saying. Not too different from many technical conferences except at Where it’s still pretty intimate.  People are approachable and you don’t have to clamor to talk to a speaker like at most conferences.

If you’re down that you weren’t able to attend here are some key things that I learned at this year’s Where 2.0:

  1. Location will get smarter. Thinking back to all the sessions I attended, a reoccurring theme is that the novelty of location applications are starting to wear off. Apps and services for the consumer will get smarter and more useful in everyday life and badges, stamps, and the like will be a thing of the past.
  2. Privacy. This is nothing new. Privacy has always been a concern since LB apps hit the market. The only difference now is in terms of product development. Designers and developers will now allow users to be more selective about what they share.
  3. Automatic Check-ins. These days it seems like it’s asking too much to ask a user to check-in. The industry is taking note. Nearly every session I attended automatic check-ins were being discussed so I wouldn’t be surprised it you start to notice this in upcoming apps.
  4. NFC. Near Field Communication basically utilizes a device’s sensors to determine if they are nearby. A user’s personal information can be attached as well. Many of the use cases that have been discussed for NFC usage involve mobile commerce. However the idea of using NFC outside of commerce was discussed in general at Where; mainly as a why to reduce/remove the friction that exists between people and places.

I’ll definitely be back next year, I hope to see you there too.

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