As more and more people turn to Smart Phones, the use of Location Based Services (LBS) is also on the rise. Location Based Services is an application that uses software to deliver information to the user based on where the phone is located.
By law, LBS inquires have to be permission based. In other words, unless the user opts in to allow the mobile device to recognize where the phone is located, the LBS will not work. Questions such as “Where is the nearest coffee shop?” “Is there an ATM nearby?” and others are all based on LBS practices. In addition, the LBS system can be used for marketing opportunities.
Using a mobile device to ‘check-in’ allows retailers and businesses the opportunity to track spending habits, shopping frequency and also provides the opportunity for entertainment. Consumers can receive special discounts, coupons and promotional offers simply by ‘checking-in’ at a particular store on their device. Social media applications use LBS to show where pictures were taken, where events take place and who else is was involved.
Creating a dependency on the uses for LBS, developers continue to push the limit on what activities are showing up and how LBS is being used. Now users can locate their phone, their friends, avoid heavy traffic and find a local restaurant to have lunch at. While privacy advocates would never want a device that tracked their every move, LBS asked users to ‘self-report’ their location, and millions of people oblige every day.
There are other uses for LBS: emergency personnel use the LBS to track down someone who called for police or fire intervention, the recovery of stolen phones and tables, gaming where avatars move based on the location of the user. One can only surmise that the LBS method of advertising is not going to go away as advertisers scramble to find new ways to market their goods.