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From the turn of the millennium until the end of 2007 MLBS (Mobile Location Based Services) had promised much, but delivered very little in terms of commercial applications. Even in Japan and South Korea, the most advanced markets for commercial MLBS, usage was disappointing.  Over the 2000 to 2007 period we experienced a number of false dawns. Whilst undoubtedly the industry debate that took place and the services that were launched did much to educate consumers about mobile location based services, the mass market adoption of MLBS that was anticipated did not take place. Technical and commercial constraints generally outweighed the perceived advantages – both for potential users and potential service suppliers.  In 2008 and 2009 the MLBS market underwent a dramatic change and it is fair to say that it will never be the same again. Now location enablement is rapidly becoming a de facto feature of mobile applications - so much so that by 2014 location based services and location enabled apps will cease to be a special interest category. The launch of the Apple iPhone and the iTunes App Store fundamentally changed the way that developers and users viewed applications for the mobile phone. These events also introduced a large numbers of consumers to the existence and capability of location enabled apps and associated services. However, whilst it is easy to point to these events as being “defining” in the development of commercial MLBS, in reality a far larger number of things came together at the same time, heralding a new dawn of the “age of location”.  These convergent factors relate to diverse areas of  technology and user experience and the principal factors are summarised in Figure 1. Many of these factors are interlinked, to a large extent they are selfreinforcing with progress in one area enabling further progress in other areas – increasing the drive to create an even more conducive environment for rich media location based services. Equally a slowdown in progress in any one factor is likely to have a follow-on impact in other areas and market progress will not be uniform in all geographies. Concerns over privacy and information security  could still place a restraining influence on the development of the market for MLBS and location enabled apps, but even here progress is being made

Feb 8, 2021
Nov 24, 2010
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