A quick summary from Navteq Developer’s Day

Back from attending the Navteq Developer’s Day with my colleagues Pranav and Ashish, this post summarises some of the points that stood out for me during the entire event.

Location-based Advertising

First things first –

  1. The grub was amazing.
  2. I won a USB stick during the developer’s special part of the event, while (ahem) my “techie” colleagues looked on. And you don’t want to know for which question but it was a very proud moment for me. I would like to thank my mother, my father…

Alright I will come back to the real deal. So Navteq is an organisation which supports application developers in building ‘Location-based Applications’ by supplying Maps data and also helps them in bringing their apps to market. They are currently expanding their reach with Indian Map data and thus the event. During the course of the day, they touched upon the type of services that they provide of which what stood out for me was:

  1. They will be providing Destination Maps – which will cover Map information beyond the final Destination. Destination Maps can actually provide information for how a market place or mall is laid out and which shop is on which floor. This definitely opens up opportunities for a number of interesting app ideas.
  2. 3D Map views.
  3. By the end of 2011, they may also be providing traffic information.

I can already think of a few Augmented Reality app ideas just by combining the last two points.

The most interesting part came during the later part of the day when a panel of industry experts discussed the trends and future for location based applications. Some very interesting trends and ideas were discussed during this session like-

  1. Applications should be able to learn from a user’s habits and provide him location-based services accordingly.
  2. In the future there may be an app that is able to study a person’s appoinment calendar and map it to the traffic conditions to alert the user in case he needs to reschedule or plan an alternate route.
  3. In the Indian context, the routes and timings for DTC buses are already being mapped to be able to provide real-time information to commuters. A gentleman in the panel raised an interesting point that real-time information for the Indian Railways would also be helpful for commuters and which doesn’t exist presently.
  4. One of the questions raised during the discussion was, which are the existing services which could be enhanced with the use of LBS.
  5. Location as well as context/POI based advertising was touted to be a big thing in the future.
  6. Enterprise level Location Based Services is an area which probably needs attention and could have a lot of potential. Anyone else thinking logistics here?

All in all, it was an informative event. As a side note, what stood out for me the most was the ease and humor with which Steven Citron-Pousty (the presentor from DeCarta during the developer’s hour and the giver of the free USBs) presented. He kept the audience engaged the entire time, even non-techies like me. Oh and the grub of course ;-).

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Ideafarms going mobile

Having seen some cool examples of Mobile applications and especially those using Location Based Services and Augmented Reality, we had been tossing around quite a few ideas of our own. We didn’t want to lose the enthusiasm or some of those precious ideas. So we decided to finally do something about it. One fine day, four of us locked ourselves in the conference room and brainstormed the day away. The result was a bunch of ideas which range from simple utility apps, to location-based apps (some of which apply specifically to the India context) and some fun game ideas [afterall, all work and no play… 😉 ].

Going Mobile

As far as the Location-Based apps go, we are excited about creating valuable services based around the current context of the user. We have worked on such concepts in combination with social-media platforms for social innovation in the past. What is exciting about the mobile platform is that such information would be accessible to the user on the go.

To test the waters, we have decided to kick-off with a pilot project which will be a location-based app on the Android platform (later to be extended to other platforms). Similar apps may already exist — we can further add value using our Rapid Prototyping and UI Design capabilities to design a seamless experience for the user.

If any of this sounds exciting, feel free to reach out. Be it to join our team, or to contribute more ideas, or to volunteer to be a guinea pig (read test user) or simply collaborate with us. We are always looking for exciting ideas and excited people. 🙂

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