Location becomes fashionable again

The improvement in technology has meant that location is now important. Why, because Location Based services (LBS) are a hot topic at the moment with a huge interest in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla both of which are growing huge user bases, specifically the former, having just passed One million users as reported by Techcrunch.

LBS requires the network to know where you are so that if can tailor information specific to that location i.e. advertising, or allow you to perform a task specific to that location “check in” for example. The benefit of this sharing of your location, is you can see where your friends are, arrange impromptu meetings, coffee maybe as you’re in the same location.

However, less recent developments in technology and in particular high speed wireless data networks allowed us to become nomadic workers not reliant on a single location where work must be performed. As a result of this the importance of location reduced as we can perform pretty much “everything everywhere”.

An office is still the most common place where knowledge based work is performed, but that’s changing as teleworking or mobile working becomes much more common. The late 19th century concept of the offices is analogous to a factory, it’s the place where you must “check in”  between 9am and 5pm to be seen by your superiors to be working.

We started with the statement; The improvement in technology has meant that Location is now important. However if you look back just 18 months or less, the statement could easily have been just one letter different; The improvement in technology has meant that Location is not important, the office is everywhere. Just goes to show 18 months is a long time in the technology world.

Also posted on the Orange Business Live Blog

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