On Tuesday I was up in Auckland at the Wireless and Broadband Forum. Was really interesting hearing about new products and trends in mobile and wireless broadband.
While mobile broadband is always going to be complementary to, not a substitute for, fixed line broadband (unless someone knows how to get resource consent for 100,000 cellphone towers) it is going to grow in usefulness. The prediction is that by 2011, mobile download speeds will be 70 – 200 Mb/sec and upload of up to 50 Mb/sec.
Anyway I had an idea (which I shared during a panel discussion) on a great mobile broadband product which should now be possible. It came from seeing the Navman stand which displayed their fleet tracking software. Basically each vehicle has this device which is works out your GPS location and then transmits the data via mobile broadband to the office, where mapping software displays you on a map. Would be great for truck and courier companies maybe even taxi companies.
Anyway my idea would be to have similar technology as part of a person’s cellphone, and operate it like instant messaging where you allow your buddies to track your location. I think such a product would have tens of millions of customers worldwide.
Some people would be horrified at the thought, but kids especially would love it – being able to see where there friends are.
I would use it myself (of course subject to an easy on/off switch for it) as it would be great if in town to see if any friends are nearby. Oh wow Jane is in Whitcoulls – I haven’t seen her for ages so will say hi. And if you are meeting for the movies you can see how far away the others are. Plus if you have people you don’t like, pretend you are their buddy and then you can use it to avoid running into them 🙂
Other uses would be parents to know where their kids are. You can also see what exciting places your overseas friends are. Secretaries to keep track of their bosses.
Maybe there is such a product already, or it is in development. Either way I am sure we will see it within a few years, if not earlier.