a16z Podcast | Location, Location, Location -- and Mobile | Summary and Q&A

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January 2, 2019
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a16z
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a16z Podcast | Location, Location, Location -- and Mobile

TL;DR

The smartphone and wearable devices have the potential to become our "first brain," predicting our needs and providing context-aware information.

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Key Insights

  • 💁 Location and context-aware information have become important areas of focus for Apple and Google, with both companies aiming to provide users with proactive and predictive experiences.
  • 📌 The physical layer, including network capabilities and GPS signals, remains a challenge for indoor location tracking.
  • 🥺 The integration of sensors, wearables, and improved network capabilities will lead to more accurate and frictionless user experiences.
  • 🧠 The smartphone and wearable devices have the potential to become our "first brain," predicting our needs and providing context-aware information.
  • 🐕‍🦺 Companies like Google and Apple are investing in building a digital representation of the physical world to enhance location-based services.
  • 😀 The removal of friction in user experiences, such as accessing information without opening apps, is a key goal for both companies.
  • 🤗 Fine-grain location data, provided by sensors and beacons, opens up possibilities for personalized and tailored experiences.

Transcript

hello this is Benedict Evans and welcome to the a 16z podcast I'm here this afternoon with Steve Jenny from estimate and we're going to talk about location and maps and knowing why you are where your phone is and what your phone can do with that and all these kind of interesting things we were just chatting about this earlier I thought one of the i... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How are Apple and Google trying to improve user experiences with location and maps?

Apple is focused on developing a proactive assistant that can anticipate user needs, while Google is using sensors and beacons to gather more accurate location data.

Q: What are the challenges of understanding location and context indoors?

Indoor environments pose challenges for location tracking because GPS signals may not penetrate buildings. Companies like Apple and Google are working on solutions to improve indoor location accuracy.

Q: How can smartphones and wearables become our "first brain"?

These devices have the potential to predict our needs based on our location and activities. For example, they can suggest music to listen to while we're on the treadmill or remind us to grab a coffee when passing by a Starbucks.

Q: What advantages do sensors and beacons offer for location tracking?

Sensors and beacons can provide more precise location information, allowing for personalized and context-aware experiences. They enable developers to build apps that can work with fine-grain location data.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Apple and Google are exploring ways to go beyond traditional search and provide users with predictive information based on their location and context.

  • The challenge lies in understanding the user's location and activities indoors, where GPS signals may not be reliable.

  • Apple is focusing on developing a proactive assistant that anticipates user needs, while Google is using sensors and beacons to gather more accurate location data.

  • The integration of sensors, wearables, and improved network capabilities will allow for more precise and frictionless user experiences.

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