Google continues to deliver value (to me anyway)

I have been playing around with the new Google Maps for Mobile on my HTC Touch.  The key feature of this new version is that it uses the cell phone tower you are connected to in order to approximate where you are currently located.  That’s right: all you Blackberry buyers with your integrated GPS just lost a differentiator to anyone with a J2ME runtime on their phone (which is almost every modern smart phone).  It is extremely fast (both in app start time and location determination) and accurate enough to get you generally from where you are to generally where you need to be.
Several years ago, I worked for a telecommunications billing company and I remember there being a big buzz about ‘location based services’.  The idea was that as you walked down the street Starbucks could offer you a coupon for 50 cents off a copy if you were within 3 blocks of one of their stores.  Movie listings would pop up on your phone as you walked in front of a theater.  A restaurant menu would buzz in as it got close to dinner and you got close to the front desk.  All very cool stuff.  Problem was, no one was ever able to do anything with it that scaled.
If Google can do one thing well, it’s scale, so I think this new offering could be the way that that vision from 7 years ago could become real today.
Google Maps

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2 responses to “Google continues to deliver value (to me anyway)”

  1. Susan Avatar

    Ironically, I just argued with Caribou coffee because I "presented" my coupon (via my Treo) at the store. They would not accept my coupon because I had to print it, even though it did not say that. After contacting customer care, they gave me a a credit and said that my idea of coupons for mobile users might be something to explore…maybe they should read this!

  2. Deelip Menezes Avatar

    I hope these “location based services”, if and when they do come up, are not forced down upon subscribers. I have registered my cell phone number on all the “Do Not Call” lists possible because I a sick and tired of constant calls and SMSs trying to sell me things I dont need. If I am walking by a restaurtant during lunch time, I would like to have the option to simply walk by it and not receive an irritating message asking me if I am hungry.

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