We’ve talked periodically about how GPS systems have taken over the mobile market, but most of didn’t realize just how big that market has become. The dominant apps for smartphones are Waze and Google Maps, both of which are owned by Google with about 1-billion, that’s with a “B”, billion people using the apps to navigate wherever they going. So, what does a monolith do with 1-billion people? You guessed it; they look at ways to monetize their software.
The challenge is where to you stick the popup ads. GPS systems are a basic “utility” that can’t be messed with much. But people are doing a lot more than just driving around. The other primary tasks include locating nearby locations like gas, food and so on and searching neighbourhood business listings. For these tasks, advertising is fairly easy.
On the back side of thigs, your GPS knows everything about what you do, where you shop, preferred gas stations, in fact, it knows everything about you, and all the data is continuously uploaded to Google. Can you hear the cash registers ringing yet? I can.
Here’s something else to consider. Let’s say your driving down Main Street, it’s around lunch time and the GPS comes to life telling you that there’s a vegan story 5-blocks ahead of you and asks if you want to stop for a bite to eat. Or possibly the GPS displays a message reminding you that you will need gas in the 100 clicks and tells you that your preferred gas station is 2-minutes away. All of this and more is just around the corner as our phone more fully integrate into your car’s technology no doubt tapping into and processing the data your car’s computer is generating.
What do you think, Google is about to turn their golden touch into whatever is better than a golden touch, or maybe a monopoly investigation.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard