Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Role of Location Services in Real Time Communications

January 29, 2015

During the past year, location-based services have been receiving a lot of attention. According to a report that was published by Juniper Research in August 2014, entitled “Mobile Context & Location Services; Navigation, Tracking, Social and Local Search 2014-2019” the market is expected to generate revenue of about $43.4 billion by 2019. This represents a significant rise from last year’s figure which was $12.2 billion.

We are seeing that mobile marketing campaigns are moving beyond offering mass random communications and instead are focusing on delivering carefully targeted personalized messages. In turn, this transition is driving a higher return on investment with marketing campaigns. The addition of a further dimension, that being location, adds a powerful new trigger to deliver messages linked to your location at a given moment in time.

When I think of location services, the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is used for advertising. In fact, there are several ways that marketing firms can take advantage of your location. Based on location information that has been gathered by companies like Google, marketers can send SMS messages to alert someone of a sale when they are near a favorite store. On the flip side, you can also ask about stores or restaurants near you based on location services.

Marketing and advertising is just one way of using location-based services. The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications have made it possible to gather and use information is a variety of useful ways. Location-based services are used in a variety of contexts, such as health, indoor object search, entertainment, work, personal just to name a few.

According to Airbiquity, a global leader in connected car services innovation, real time communications, location-based services and contextual offers will drive intelligent connected car services this year. A couple of years ago when BlackBerry redesigned itself, it offered a dashboard console that integrated with BlackBerry devices. We are now seeing the same offerings from both Apple and Google.

These announcements are proof that these companies now see the connected car market as a maturing opportunity into which they can extend their brands, technologies and content ecosystems. Drivers are also becoming more aware of what connected car technology can do for them. They are experiencing and have come to expect a safe and seamless integration between their mobile devices and their overall driving experiences.

If you experience car trouble, thanks to the number of sensors that can be placed in a vehicle, it is possible to immediately send your location and a description of the car’s problem to a monitoring facility. Real time communications make it possible to have a call placed to the nearest mechanic without any input from the driver.

Location-based services and real time communications have made it possible for the healthcare field to provide a level of patient care that was previously more difficult to maintain. When you add wearable technology into the mix, you now have technology that is not only able to track the location of the patient, but thanks to all the available sensors, a healthcare professional will have the ability to know if the patient is standing, sitting or lying down.

This is the type of real time communication that can save a patient’s life. In addition to monitoring the patient’s position, the IoT makes it possible to also monitor prescriptions, as well as other vital statistics. Medication can be given and reordered as needed.

These are just a few of the ways that location-based services and real time communications are being used across more and varying verticals. What began as a way to send advertisements to a mobile device based it its location has evolved into a potentially lifesaving technology.  

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Article comments powered by Disqus

  Subscribe here for RTCW eNews