BT Launches a Whole Range of Terribly Boring LBS Services

I found this through Nicolas Nova&#039s splendidly corn-fed Blog who pointed me to Russell Buckley&#039s posting on BT&#039s pathetic Location Based Services offering.

BT Launches a Whole Range of Terribly Boring LBS Services:

– Child and elderly people tracking
– Traffic and directions
– Find my nearest things like ATM&#039s, supermarkets and Petrol/Gas stations.
– Employee spying (actually they call it “tracking”)

About as uninspired a list of offerings as I can imagine.

Russell points out that the people tracking applications — this child and elderly people tracking – are a bit misguided. He presumes that the child tracking is for the case where a child is abducted, which may be the case or may be the concern the marketing people are playing towards as they try to sell a new service to overly concerned parents. If a child is abducted, it may be likely that the abductor is savvy enough to toss the phone — it&#039s really a phone tracking app and has nothing to do with tracking the owner of the phone if the phone isn&#039t in their possession.

The elderly people tracking, except for the previous misguided assumption, might actually be useful for Alzheimer&#039s patients or other situations in which an elderly individual might become confused and lost. That actually makes a bit of sense to me, although it seems like buying a front door before buying a house that it might look good on.

Why do I blog this? It&#039s topical because LBS is a big thing and continue to get calls to participate in panels and industry mixers to discuss the future of LBS. Hopefully, more inspired, clever, creative designs will appear. Whatever I can do to help move that objective along, I will do. I promise. Perhaps it&#039s like Ben Cerveny presciently mentioned one day in Linz — " software will come into its own when we stop calling it social software." The idea there is that so long as you fetishize the door over the house, you#039ll be designing gizmos that know not of social beings and their practices. Maybe when we stop calling Location Based Services "Location Based Services" we&#039ll finally be onto something.