A new di­men­sion to smart cities

Round-the-clock safety for women, un­in­ter­rupted traf­fic flow, ef­fi­cient and prompt cri­sis man­age­ment sys­tems are the ma­jor benefits of lo­ca­tion-based ser­vices

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - HT Es­tates Cor­re­spon­dent

The con­tri­bu­tion of lo­ca­tion­based ser­vices (LBS) can never be over em­pha­sised in the con­text of the 100 smart cities that In­dia en­vis­ages. LBS is an en­abler in the crit­i­cal ar­eas of ur­ban devel­op­ment like trans­port, safety and se­cu­rity, gen­eral util­ity and lo­ca­tion-based ad­ver­tis­ing. Per­haps its big­gest con­tri­bu­tion is in the domain of public safety.

The first pre­req­ui­site of a mod­ern city is around-the-clock safety for women and the bou­quet of of­fer­ings un­der LBS helps in achiev­ing this fun­da­men­tal cri­te­ria, says a re­port ti­tled Lo­ca­tion Based Ser­vices: Adding An­other Di­men­sion to Smart Cities by FICCI and PwC.

On a typ­i­cal day a woman trav­els to her place of work, or to malls and mar­kets via dif­fer­ent modes of trans­port, some­times at late hours. LBS will make it pos­si­ble for her fam­ily to track her jour­ney by en­ter­ing her phone num­ber in its mas­ter data­base and shar­ing it with them. In case of a de­tour of her nor­mal route the fam­ily mem­bers are alerted by a text mes­sage. There is a mech­a­nism in place to pre­vent mishaps – in case of ma­jor or abrupt de­vi­a­tions from the route, an alarm will be trig­gered and ac­cess to her data will be pro­vided to the city com­mand and con­trol cen­tre on a GIS plat­form.

LBS can also be lever­aged for im­pro­vis­ing the trans­port net­work of a city and im­prove the last mile con­nec­tiv­ity for peo­ple. In the events of traf­fic con­ges­tions and jams, lo­ca­tion based data cap­tured from user mo­biles can be used to trig­ger alerts at city com­mand con­trol cen­tres. Pay­ments at toll points can be made eas­ier through dig­i­tal wal­lets, says the re­port.

At present the most popular ap­pli­ca­tion of LBS is tar­geted and cus­tomised ad­ver­tis­ing. Rel­e­vant ser­vices can be pushed to user mo­biles to im­prove ex­pe­ri­ence. It is be­ing used for tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing by an in­creas­ing num­ber of ser­vice providers. When a user en­ters an area, geo-fenc­ing gets ac­ti­vated and nearby mar­keters can push their of­fers to po­ten­tial users. Of­fers can also be pushed on the ba­sis of past shop­ping his­tory and pref­er­ences.

There­fore, rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion can be sup­plied to the right user at the right time. LBS can open up new rev­enue streams for tele­com op­er­a­tors, mar­keters, busi­nesses and ad­ver­tis­ers.

LBS can also ef­fec­tively be used for han­dling public emer­gen­cies by proac­tively in­form­ing con­cerned de­part­ments to take cor­rec­tive ac­tions on time. Mo­bile based LBS is grow­ing at a rapid pace. With the use of GIS spa­tial data, lo­ca­tion in­tel­li­gence and other tech­nolo­gies, var­i­ous LBS or ap­pli­ca­tions can be pro­vided to cit­i­zens.

Fi­nally, it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that LBS is a con­nect­ing plat­form for busi­ness and en­tre­pre­neur­ial ven­tures. It pro­vides an in­no­va­tive way for gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses, ad­ver­tis­ers, tele­com op­er­a­tors and cit­i­zens to connect with one an­other and utilise each other’s lo­ca­tion data to fa­cil­i­tate bet­ter plan­ning, ser­vice of­fer­ings and anal­y­sis.

Con­sider an il­lus­tra­tive sce­nario wherin an en­tre­pre­neur wants to set up a new busi­ness ven­ture in the leisure sec­tor tar­geted at young­sters and work­ing pro­fes­sion­als.

This can be done by var­i­ous ap­proaches and com­puter mod­el­ling pro­grammes. How­ever, with re­cent ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, site se­lec­tion has trans­formed from an in­tu­tive art to a nu­anced science. En­trepreneurs can now lever­age LBS along with an­a­lyt­ics to un­der­stand the de­mo­graph­ics, cit­i­zen mix, trends, be­hav­iours, foot­falls etc to iden­tify the most prof­itable busi­ness sites.

Once a site is iden­ti­fied, the en­tre­pre­neur can use LBS to lo­cate the near­est gov­ern­ment author­ity for tak­ing req­ui­site li­censes and cler­ances. He can also use the sys­tem to iden­tify nearby sup­pli­ers and ven­dors for his busi­ness in or­der to save on lo­gis­tics cost and pre­vent un­nec­es­sary de­lays.

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