AUTHOR: Dan Dang
Have you ever found a nearby restaurant on Yelp, or checked-in on Facebook from a theatre, how about driving home using Google Maps? Well all of these use one common piece of technology, and that’s geolocation. Geolocation is changing the way we experience the world and how we navigate through it. It is the technology that uses data acquired from an individual or device to identify or describe their real-world geographic location. When utilized properly, this technology can further integrate into businesses and industries.
With advancements made in information technologies, geolocation has become highly popularized in today’s enterprises. For instance, in law enforcement, it is used to confirm the location of parolees. In augmented reality, geolocation data is combined with detection methods and virtual information to enhance the user experience. In the oil industry, switching from RFID technologies to GPS tracking to locate and manage equipment resulted in reduced operating and capital costs. The possibilities with geolocation are astounding.
There are many approaches to executing geolocation. Recognizable adaptations of geolocation include tags and postings on social media sites, web browsing and GPS devices. Tagging your location on Instagram uses geo-tagging, which is the attaching of geographic information to an object by pulling geolocation data from the photo’s metadata. In web browsing, geographical location is mapped using IP address information. In the case of GPS devices, location is established through GPS chip and triangulation using cellular tower information. Over the years, numerous businesses have applied this technology with remarkable results. Here are five extraordinary services that expand the limits of geolocation:
1. GPS Wearables
Health and fitness has evolved through the adaption of geolocation services. Wearable technology companies such as Garmin and Fitbit have made ‘where you are’ more relevant than ever. Their select smartwatches provide built in GPS navigation and tracking capabilities to the user. Statistics such as run time, distance, pace, elevation and weather changes are all shown on display in real-time. You can even mark locations and create “bread crumb trails” as you move along your routes. Never worry about getting lost again!
2. Personalized Shopping
Geolocation applied to the retail industry gives shoppers a more “personalized” shopping experience. Apple’s iBeacon technology, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy and geo-fencing, provides apps with location-based awareness. Retail stores can combine this technology with a shopper’s historical point-of-sale data, preferences and product reviews to give them customized notifications about sales, products and events once they’re near the store. Talk about taking shopping sprees to a new level!
3. Online Fraud Prevention
Everyone wants to be financially secure when purchasing on the Internet, and geolocation helps with that endeavor. Geolocation data can be used to compare the buyer’s IP address to their credit/debit card billing and shipping address. Any discrepancy can lead to a red flag and closer review of the order processed. Hence geolocation reduces the risk of fraud and unnecessary credit card charges.
4. Augmented Reality Navigation
Sunshine City Aquarium in Japan has developed an augmented reality app, called Penguin Navi, to help people find their aquatic attraction. The aquarium is located one kilometer away from the nearest train station and the path can be confusing for a first-timer. To solve this issue, cute 3D rendered penguins are shown on your mobile phone walking in front of you, and guiding you to the aquarium. Geolocation focused augmented reality has increased the aquarium attendance by 152 percent!
5. Asset tracking
Asset tracking is yet another great application of geolocation. Ekahau, a Wi-Fi based location tracking company, provides their services to hospitals to track their assets. Medical equipment is then easily located by staff on-the-fly. Less time is required tracking down assets and more time is dedicated to helping patients. Amazingly, the only requirement to use Ekahau is a Wi-Fi network.
Clearly geolocation today is a part of businesses just as much as it is a part of people’s lives. With so many advancements, geolocation is a service that is definitely here to stay. Medium One’s solutions provide a way to collect geolocation data and process it in real-time. Using the Workflow Builder, a developer can easily construct a workflow and obtain data intelligence to drive their products and services. For more information, check us out at www.mediumone.com