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Location-Based Mobile Apps: Served Up Fast and Hot

Picture this in the not-too-distant future.

You’re on your way to pick up some fast food because you’re so amazingly hungry for a new quadruple-decker bacon angus cheeseburger. Your mind is just telling you to go out and get this new meat wad delight, which sits precariously between two deep-fried grilled cheese sandwiches. Hard to imagine, I know, since you’ve been using a mobile app to count your calories, but you’ve got a serious hankering (and no one needs to know about your caloric careen off course now anyway, right?).

However, instead of ordering at the counter or over the loud speaker at the local drive-thru window, you decide to check the “My Locations” folder on your mobile phone–or better yet, the iPad mounted to your dashboard. Once you come to a stop at the restaurant, an icon with the unmistakable red pigtails of a certain girl appears. You click on it. She starts talking to you by name and tells you what’s new on the menu. With a few swipes of your finger, you glance over the succulent selections and tap on the value meal that’s going to soon spark a conversation between you and your family physician (we’ll save the details of that encounter for another daydream).

At the end of your order, you’re asked to repeat their fast food slogan, or some other perfunctory gibberish thought up by the marketing hacks. This allows you to pass the voice recognition process, which instantly purchases the order using your pre-saved payment information. You feel so good about the experience that you somehow forget that a factually correct account of the caloric intake you’re about to consume was just instantly uploaded to a data-cloud. Guess you’ll come to terms with the slowly declining line graph that represents your ever-diminishing dietary goals the next time you’re faced with your personal apps at home.

For not only does the future mean that mobile applications will be served to you at the moment you need them without downloading apps or typing in web addresses (this was served to you when you came in proximity of the restaurant), it also means that your information will be sent to other applications and services uninterrupted by device or network specific barriers. Think of the possibilities of using the same premise at retail stores, hospitals, airports, or classrooms.

So, while you once downloaded applications to your mobile devices anticipating to use them with the world at large, the experiences of the future will most likely be finding you instead–and with that, changing the way you interact with the world.

In fact, this is all quite possible now and could certainly be used for more worthwhile things than ordering cheeseburgers.

Or maybe I’ve just got my head in the clouds.

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