Le futur de la géolocalisation
Le 21 juillet dernier avait lieu à San Francisco la journée Geo-Loco sur les enjeux de la géolocalisation. Il en est ressorti, selon Mark Alvarez, 10 grandes prédictions :
Prediction 1. Geo-data will be free, with OpenStreet Map and other crowd-driven open-source data eclipsing commercial vendors.
Waze’s Di-Ann Eisnor, who has been in the geo-mapping space for years, said that it is amazing to watch maps go from being created by a few – mainly for political purposes – to now being created by individuals.
Other panelists thought that, while crowdsourced data will become increasingly relevant and available, some data will always be commodified.
“There’s a lot of high quality analytics, marketing, and scientific data that will always cost money because it costs to collect,” said Michael Liebhold, Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future.
“There’s not enough crowdsourced people providing data right now, so I don’t see this being free in next 2 years,” Robert Scoble said. “But in the long term, yes.”
“I disagree with eclipse of vendors,” said Lior Ron, lead for Google’s products in the local space. “If you want a route, or to conserve fuel, those customers won’t be satisfied by 2014. We need to combine commercial efforts with crowdsourced efforts.”
2. Location-awareness will be integral to any mobile app.
The panelists mainly agreed with this statement, with the observation that not all mobile apps will need LBS.
“For me, this is obvious,” Eisnor said. “With increase in precision, we’re moving towards an ecosystem of location-aware devices.”
“We’re going to have way too many devices in 2014; we will need to know where they are,” said GigaOM’s Liz Gannes.
3. More than half of all mobile advertising in 2014 will be location-based.
Not as much agreement on this one, as the panelists maintained that advertising is difficult to predict.
“Advertising always lags behind data and users,” Ron said. “There’s a long ramp-up.”
Of course, many mobile users will do what they can to block advertising on their devices, especially on smaller screens.
“Aside from tablets, users will do what they can to block ads, so banner ads will have nominal impact,” Liebhold. “Advertising on larger things like the iPad will be more successful.”
4. Virtually all user-generated content will be geo-tagged.
In Ron’s words, “That’s already happening today,” but some of the panelists had reservations about a totally geo-tagged world.
“We’re going to find situations where location-sharing can be very weird,” Scoble said, noting that a recent deal between Rackspace and NASA could have been discovered before it was announced if observers had been tracking both organization’s locations.
“We’re getting to the point where journalists could know what the intelligence community does,” Liebhold said.
5. Proximity will become a critical filter for content.
The panelists agreed that future search engines will need to consider location.
“The most important role of proximity will be filtering information,” Liebhold said.
Part of proximity is a symbiotic relationship, Scoble pointed out. “There are too many silos that don’t talk to each other,” Scoble said, a refrain he would return to later.
Another refrain that would be repeated is that a lot of geo-info will be noise. “The biggest problem is what is relevant,” Eisnor said. “With better filtering and proximity, we’ll get closer to what is relevant.”
Prediction 6. Mobile devices scanning QR and bar codes will revolutionize how consumers access information.
Not as much agreement on this one. Ron noted that getting business owners to use QR codes will be painful. “Any model that requires a business owner to take an action is difficult,” he said. “Things like Google Goggles that require no intervention by business owner will be much more scalable.”
Liebhold worried that the physical world will create digital noise. “Codes are physical spam,” he said. “We don’t want to pollute the environment with a bunch of gross data.”
7. LBS will be integrated with social networks.
The panelists agreed on this, as it has pretty much already happened. What was surprising is the amount of concern the panelists expressed about the potential dangers of this union.
“We need to educate people and make sure they want to have control over their location info,” Eisnor said.
“There are going to be really horrible stories about stalking,” Liebhold said. “Politicians will go crazy and legislate something. Facial recognition is probably the most dangerous technology — you can’t opt out of having your face scanned.”
8. Location will enable and foster better relationships. The equivalent of a local web will emerge.
Another mixed reaction.
“This is one of the best things that can happen with location,” Gannes said. “The incentives are aligned.”
“I’m very excited about local commerce,” Eisnor said. “Even twitter allows me to have a commercial p2p transaction. I can trade my bamboo for your lettuce over Twitter.”
“Location and geo-info foster existing communities; they don’t create new ones,” Ron said.
9. Users will be reluctant to pay for LBS.
One thing’s for sure: people will pay for games. “Location-based games will explode,” Liebhold said. “Video games will jump out of console into real world.”
Paid models are needed for evolution, Eisnor said. “Subscription and payment models will force us to create more value,” she said. “Static information that doesn’t change will get commodified.”
Gannes kind of put the good and evil into a single phrase: “Despite awful spam, this will be great for advertising,” she said.
And of course, as with everything, there’s the business-model problem.
“How to make money is a challenge,” Ron said. “We don’t have a scalable business model that will flow the money.”
10. What are the panelists’ own predictions?
Eisnor: We’ll navigate more based on time, not location. “We need a search engine based on location,” Ron said.
Gannes: I’m really excited about real-world gaming.
Liebhold: We’ll have the 1st gen AR glasses by 2014, but they’ll be bad. Will create mini boom
Scoble: A lot of these silos will stitch together.
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