The new gold rush is geolocation.
Similar to how Google owns search engines, the panelists said there is sort of a race to find who will own user location.
With the advancing technologies within mobile devices, it is quite easy to plot and map the device holder’s location on the internet.
Foursquare and Gowalla are two services that plot user locations, and are both contenders to own geolocation.
Foursquare allows users to “check in” to anywhere the person goes, be it a restaurant or a library. You can acquire badges.
The panelists said there are greater potentials for geolocation than just acquiring badges. They gave the example of using a real-life farmville where users literally go around their towns to get crops, and sell them to other people in other locations in the world.
An issue and concern about geolocation is privacy, according to the panelists. Letting people know where you are at all times could lead to consequences like theft of empty homes.
Panelists said video games are going to be the entrance that let people feel comfortable showing their locations on the internet because they use avatars as opposed to the actual person.
“This is the next big thing,” a panelist said. “Location is happening next.”