ABI Research has come out with their “Location-Enabled Services” study that covers geo-enabled browsers, location-based social networking and micro-blogging, messaging and calendar applications, and location-based advertising.
According to their press release, “Location-Enabled Services (LES) such as location-based social networking (Facebook Places), micro-blogging (Twitter), messaging, calendars, advertising, and geo-browsers (Apple Safari, Google Chrome) are set for strong growth driven by standards such as the W3C’s geo-location API. ABI Research forecasts that 1.7 billion geo-enabled browsers will be in use worldwide by 2016.”
“The location industry is entering a new era. Instead of offering separate applications providing specific stand-alone LBS services, location is increasingly positioned as an enabler of existing mobile services.,” Telematics & Navigation practice director Dominique Bonte said. “The transparent use of location results in new business and indirect monetization models, web/widget and open source development environments, changing value and supply chains, the adoption of alternative positioning technologies, new content sourcing paradigms, and innovative interfaces (Augmented Reality).”
Privacy is a big issue for the LES space, according to ABI. Vendors are concerned about how location data will be used – even if users can delete their location history, companies that mine data may be able to still store, analyze and use this location data for advertising purposes. There is also the concern that it could get into the hands of those with unauthorized access, in much the same way spammers gain access to email addresses and other personal information.