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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - eBuddy Can you Spare an eDime?
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eBuddy Can you Spare an eDime?

 
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RobBrady
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Joined: Jul 21, 2004
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Location: Chelmsford, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: eBuddy Can you Spare an eDime? Reply with quote

Over 90 percent of British children already own a mobile phone. Mobile devices, seen by many as umbilical to the younger generation, are predicted to infiltrate our very psyche when highly developed socially networked location based services (LBS) eventually saturate the market.

Couple this with NFC (contact-less 'card' swiping known as near-field communications) and you'll see that the mobile networks have got a very exciting few years ahead of them. Already widely used in Tokyo, Taipei and London (over three-quarters of London tube and bus journeys are now made using Oyster), NFC facilitates sharing information, downloading credit & coupons and uploading payments to supermarkets, restaurants, theatres, transportation companies etc.

These mobile devices will act as communicators, passports, travel-cards, door keys (home and hotels), wallets and general all-round life assistants. They are expected to become fundamental to the way we live and interact socially, culturally and financially.

This will mean that vast socially networked communities will have the opportunity to lend money to each other (and earn interest) through facilitators similar to Zopa. Will this level of connectivity put the traditional lenders out of business?

Your phone may even become your personal bank manager and ATM. It could eventually know exactly where you are, how much is in your bank, how much you can afford, whether you can afford repayments on a loan and your spending patterns. It will therefore be best placed to know whether you are likely to respond to a location based offer. This alone is predicted to be a huge driving force behind the commercial push of location based services.

But, with privacy concerns, will we individually decide to opt into such systems? 100's of millions of pounds in investment is riding on the opinion that we will.

One company that may be able to address these concerns, SquareLoop, doesn't track or centrally monitor the movements of subscribers, but can deliver geographically targeted messages, i.e. it preserves subscriber privacy. It uses the intelligence of the handset to filter messages based not only on the device’s current or prior location, but also on factors such as velocity (messages can be delivered to people driving, but not to pedestrians), direction of travel or time of day. Originally developed by for military applications, it can be adapted to work on any of the wireless transmission technologies currently used by network carriers and does not require any changes to the wireless network’s infrastructure.

It can also provide historical location based messaging system that enables messages to be sent to people who were in a certain area at a certain time in the past. Messages might include information such as a wide-area chemical leak, a hospital infectious disease outbreak, imminent natural disasters or to help track witnesses to a crime or accident.

Do you believe that you'll be transacting ALL of your financial business and spending on your mobile any time soon?

What financial business are you already transacting on your mobile?
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robertn
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Joined: Feb 06, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like smart cards in the early 90's (weren't they going to replace cash by the turn of the centruy?), it is a very expensive technology looking to solve a problem that has already been solved, with much more reliability using very cheap, low tech solutions (paper and plastic). It has a cool factor that early adopters can't resist, and maybe it's time will come one day. There are a small number of problems which it addresses very nicely, and for these I will adopt this - provided it's cost effective for me (not the telco, vendor or government), but for a majority of purchases, cash or plastic work just as well.

The privicy concerns are very real, how you going purchase those illicit drugs with traceable electronic cash, what about the black and grey markets for goods and services, that are essential parts of the fabric of our society (the oldest profession)? What about the date with the office secretary that you don't want you wife to find out about. You may be able to legislate to make the illegal issue go way, but do you want the morals police knowning your every move?

One thing that has been observed about technology predictions - universally they are wildly optemistic for the short term when considering technology we know of, and completely miss the long term impact of yet to be developed technology (Think about Smart card hype vs digital music revolution predictions in the early 90's) . My educated guess is this is the former type of prediction.
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RobBrady
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Joined: Jul 21, 2004
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Location: Chelmsford, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make some excellent points Robert. It will be very interesting to watch the various companies which need to be involved coming together over time and arguing over the standards only to be superseded by something even cooler Laughing
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