So, to be honest, location based services freak me out. Posting my location for all to see reminds me of George Orwell 1984. Foursquare and Gowalla are Watching You!
I understand that I can make my location available only to friends, but even still, making this information available to anyone seems creepy. However, I’m not exactly a socialite, and there are a lot of people out there who love Foursquare, Gowalla and location based services. But there have been some growing pains along the way. Foursquare and Gowalla have had problems with the accuracy of GPS, with users able to check-in to places without even being there.
One company, called Shopkick, has created an entirely new location type service, which claims to bypass many of the problems that Foursquare and Gowalla face.
Instead of using GPS like traditional location based apps, Shopkick has technology installed within each store that detects when someone arrives. And unlike Foursquare and Gowalla, this does not rely on GPS, which can be tricky in malls because stores are so closely placed together.
With Shopkick, the moment a customer using the app walks in the store, they are notified of their savings. The technology is installed within the store itself and turns the entire store into an interactive experience. Plus, the signal can’t pass through walls, making it much more accurate and trust worthy for businesses than GPS services. Check out the video demonstration of Shopkick in this article.
I think that this service—for now—is better for businesses than Foursquare or Gowalla. Accuracy combined with security is a riddle that location based services have yet to solve. But we don’t know the cost of this technology. It’s possible that not every small business will be able to afford Shopkick, where with Foursquare or Gowalla there is no cost.
Shopkick is an interesting idea and could become very successful in the location based arena. It’s really too early to tell if this will gain widespread adoption, but it’s certainly something to keep your eye on.
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We’ll keep our eye on this one. Would you install this app on your phone to get a discount? Let us know in the comments below.