Kid tracking not the answer for LBS blues

I've been a little late on the recent carrier announcements by Sprint & Disney (via MocoNews & Techdirt Wireless, respectively) for kid tracking services.

The MocoNews post referenced this Reuters article that quoted Yankee analyst Marina Amoroso as estimating that "about 2 percent of U.S. subscribers are interested in people-locating services" [such as kid tracking]. Whoa! Two percent is beyond low.

Am I surprised? No! Ask anybody if they'd like to use a leash-type tracking service and I'd be surprised if you even got 1% interest. It just sounds creepy and too much like "Big Brother". I know it's targeted to parents who are worried about their kids, but most kids won't think it'd be cool to be spied upon by their parents (it'd take the fun out of being a kid!).

The right type of consumer LBS service has got to give the user the power to opt-in / disclose their location when it's advantageous for them. People are not going to want to have their every step tracked by someone else (outside of e911 or similar emergency apps)…Give them value for disclosing their location, like making it easier meet up with friends or helping them acquire social capital for being at cool places. Those types of social services are going to ultimately drive LBS, not things like kid tracking…


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