BARCELONA -I attended a great seminar on Wednesday at the Mobile World Congress, where various panellists presented and then debated their view on LBS's for 2008, including Nokia's Michael Halbherr and Googles' Gummi Hafsteinsson.
Nokia kicked off the session by stating their expectation to ship 35m handsets with GPS in 2008 and that all N-series will come equipped with in-built GPS. Michael also stated that increasingly, Nokia is looking to incorporate a compass for navigation within their handsets (making the vision outlined in my earlier post on 'Point to Discover' one step closer).
A key note from Nokia was that LBS were 'really about the pedestrian experience', a point that is sometimes lost amongst the noise surrounding LBS.
Onwards to Gummi from Google, who emphasised that for LBS's to work they need to get 3 things right: Openness, Comprehensiveness and Juxtaposition of Data.
Other key items discussed were: the need for educating the consumer on the usage of GPS functionality and for hybrid solutions that can ensure location coverage in all situations (GPS outdoors and Wi-Fi hotspots indoors) as well as the trend towards 3D mapping, with the height of buildings in urban areas being an important factor in adding relevance to a LBS.
Finally, the panellists concurred that in the same way as Web 2.0 was all about the comunity effect, so will the success of future LBS applications be determined by community-generated content.