An information service that marries advertising, database systems, GPS technology, and advanced cell phone features. For example, a concierge service could provide you with restaurant, gas station, hotel, or bank locations via your cell phone, based on your current, GPS-tracked location.
Setting aside commercial, social, and privacy issues, marketers are advancing the notion of using location-based services, pointing out that such a concierge service could also distribute navigational maps to graphic-enabled wireless devices, providing helpful traffic reports and driving directions.
Historical perspective: Facebook Places lets mobile device owners with Facebook accounts share their exact location and find the whereabouts of their friends. The free service can be accessed from iPhone, iPod Touch, Android devices, Blackberry Torch and the iPad. Facebook users in the U.S. will also
be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a
feature called Nearby Friends, an optional tool that will only be available to
people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses your smartphone's GPS
system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby — provided they have
the feature turned on.
Location-based services such as Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, and others generate revenue from mobile advertising. However, despite growth, as of 2010 location-based services remain a mystery to nearly 90% of the U.S. population and those familiar with it rarely use it.