Posts tagged with 'iphone'
Mobile devices’ ability to detect a user’s exact location will revolutionize how we find, discover, create and interact with information.
The wave of location-based services has barely begun. Latitude on Google Maps and services from other companies such as Loopt already enable a user to broadcast their location and find friends. Location awareness will change how everyone interacts with their offline environment in even more dramatic ways.
People will not consume media primarily as a departure from their offline lives, but they will use it to enhance everything they do. Android and iPhone have augmented reality (AR) browsers that superimpose online information on its screen based on users’ physical surroundings. The devices even know if a user is sitting still or walking. Wikitude, for example, draws from Wikipedia entries when a user is near a landmark. Furthermore, shopping applications such as the iPhone’s LikeThis, G1’s Shop Savvy and some Amazon applications enable users to photograph bar codes or objects to compare prices, retrieve product information and aid mobile search based users’ location. The greatest leaps will come as satellite-positioning (GPS), tilt sensors and compasses become commonplace on most mobile devices.
Location awareness will help news become more relevant to users without any user input needed. Possibilities exist for journalism at many levels. Imagine:
- News alerts sent to people based on their location, for example, when an underground explosion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin caused a power outage for 8,600 residents in June 2009.
- Users scanning products for price comparison and getting news about a company, a health issue or consumer safety.
- An immediate call for volunteers that reach people who happen to be nearby.
- A network of users that enable media outlets to find a trusted source for a breaking news story in a specific area (e.g. Kansas tornado).
- The ability to send news about the Dali Lama to users who have travelled to Tibet.
- Users receiving news based on their friends’ locations? (e.g. New York on 9/11, New Orleans in August 2005).
This blog is an excerpt from The Big Thaw, a guide to the evolution of independent media, written by Tony Deifell of Q Media Labs and produced by The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets. Learn how your organization can use this report. For more information and recommendations from the study, click here.