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GeoFencing: The next revolution in mobile apps?

GeoFencing has been growing slowly in the past year, primarily for either to-do reminders or for location-based marketing.  But the true GeoFencing revolution is much bigger, and coming soon. Technologists need to start looking at GeoFencing now.

GeoFencing is technology that enables an action to be taken when a device enters or leaves a specific geographical area. With GeoFencing, a to-do list app can notify a user when nearing a store to buy milk, or a store app can notify the user of a sale on their favorite shirts as they're about to walk by the store.  The common element is an app waking up and alerting the user as the phone nears a given location.

But GeoFencing isn't just about marketing promotions and it isn't just about location-based reminders. GeoFencing is a revolution in how mobile apps and services run. And it's coming soon.

To say it really simply: How do mobile apps and services run now? Users run them when they decide to or remember to.  How do GeoFenced apps and services run? Automatically, when the user is in a place where they'll be useful, and where the user has previously agreed that the app should run.

What can GeoFenced apps do? Anything that relates at all to places.  From shopping lists to daily deals. From silencing phones in theaters to telling you when some friends are hanging out nearby.  From leaving messages for friends that walk by the same place later today to monitoring child safety. From finding Chinese food you never tried to warning you when you're about to lose cellphone reception. GeoFencing can help store apps, food apps, shopping apps, recommendation apps, social apps, and lots more apps, work for you without your having to lift a finger.

For all this to work, GeoFencing needs to be built into cellphone operating systems, so that each app doesn't need to run all the time. Two out of the three big mobile OSs now have GeoFencing APIs, and one has GeoFencing in an app platform.

More importantly, for all this to work, GeoFencing has to be efficient and effective. It can't drain our batteries by running GPS all the time.  It can't tie up our CPUs. It can't miss an alert when I'm running lots of other apps. It needs to know whether I'm speeding or in traffic, and remind me according if there's a GeoFence coming up. And it needs to work well with lots of GeoFences, and with complex GeoFences.

A new Grizzly Analytics report gives 145 pages of details on GeoFencing research. The technology challenges in the previous paragraph are being researched by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, EBay, and many more.  Our report answers: Which companies are researching GeoFencing with low GPS and battery usage? Which companies are incorporating GeoFencing into their operating systems and development platforms? Which companies are integrating GeoFencing into their calendar and reminder applications? Which chip makers are likely to incorporate GeoFencing into their chips?  And what are the dozens of things that GeoFencing is going to be used for?

We believe that within the next two years, GeoFencing will revolutionize how thousands of mobile apps and services help us and take care of our needs. The time is now for technologists, developers, planners and others involved in mobile apps and services to add GeoFencing to their bag of tricks.

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