I am Thomas Hasselman from Quuppa, and in this article & the next ones, I share my observations and perspectives on the industry, examining how location-based technology is impacting our everyday lives today and the future. My goal is to examine some of the key trends and industry developments that I see from the perspective of my own work.
Predictions are hard, and an individual observer is inevitably limited to their own personal viewpoint. Nevertheless, I do believe that it is our responsibility to open the discussion of how to deploy these solutions in a constantly changing world in which almost everything is new, and in which yesterday’s game plan is already obsolete. I look forward to joining the dialogue with you!
We live in a world that is full of technology. Some of this technology has become so ubiquitous that we don’t even notice it anymore. When was the last time you walked into a city building and thought, “Wow, this place has electricity”?
Electric power is not the only technology that has progressed from imaginary to feasible to experimental to deployed to widespread to available everywhere. Over the last few decades, connectivity has also become something that we just expect to have, 24/7, wherever we go.
Outdoor GPS-based navigation is another good example. From personal navigation and location-based consumer applications to industrial solutions, logistics and traffic, GPS is becoming a critical component of how we live, work and do business. In fact, GPS has grown to be so ubiquitous that it is often used interchangeably with the word “location”. But this is not the whole story. GPS is an outdoor locating service, and yet we spend the vast majority of our time indoors, out of reach of precise GPS positioning.
Location is everywhere
At Quuppa, we believe that reliable, accurate and cost-effective indoor location will be the next enabling technology to grow into a ubiquitous part of our lives. The solutions and systems are already available, and the global market is just waking up to the possibilities, as companies in all industries discover the value of location services.
However, location-based services is not only about how countless companies are transforming their business processes, customer service paradigms and revenue models with real-time location data (even though they are). It is also about us asking the right questions, and some of these questions are very personal. How can real-time location help us live lives that are safer and more comfortable? How do we protect our children while giving them the freedom they need to grow? As parents, relatives and members of our communities, how can we best look after those that depend on us for help, care and support?
Making things better
Location-based services are just a set of tools, and it is up to us to discover how to use them. We need to have a meaningful debate about how, as a society, we choose to balance the value choices inherent in any new technology, including those of safety, security, privacy and economic gain. Location is becoming so common that soon we will no longer even pay attention to it. But what we should notice is what we do with it.
Ultimately, we need to be thinking not only about the next innovation and the coolest solutions, but also about how we use our technology to create a better and safer world – both on the global scale and in our own everyday lives.