Geoloqi, a bootstrapped geolocation platform that points to where I hope location technology will go in the future. The service offers an app and today launches an API that uses persistent location tracking to trigger notifications tied to real-world places. Maybe it's a note you or a family member left for you at the grocery store or maybe it's part of a set of geolocated data that you opt-into subscribing to as a layer because it was of interest to you. Some users use Geoloqi, the company says, to let their co-workers know how quickly they are getting through traffic to arrive at work. The company also announced that it has raised investment capital.Last Fall I wrote about
Location tracking is likely to become a part of all kinds of mobile apps and there's a world of potential in the technology - from lifelong education to augmented commerce.
After Geoloqi launched, it didn't seem to move ahead very fast. The iPhone app's battery management was too costly for me to use it, new layers were very slow to become available and the team behind it was nowhere to be found - as far as I could tell. Today I found out where they had been - they were touring around Silicon Valley trying to raise funding. The group of first-time entrepreneurs announced today that they have succeeded in raising the funds needed to grow the company - but not from Silicon Valley.
Geoloqi has received a $350,000 investment from multiple backers but lead by the Oregon branch of funding organization TIE.
I've been cheering for this platform to succeed for some time, because I want to be able to get push notifications on my phone every time I pass near an off-line place that has a Wikipedia entry written about it. Or near a heritage tree that's been registered by the state. Or near the studio of a ceramicist that belongs to the Oregon Potters Association. Or the production facility of local, organic, slow foods providers. Or near a significant location in my city's history of art, culture or economics. You get the idea - there's geolocated data out there about the places I find myself and I want to see it!
Geoloqi co-founder Amber Case told me today that the team, now funded and consisting of five people, is back at work developing the service. She says they plan to announce an Android app, a totally revamped battery management solution, new layers of data and a Graphic User Interface for building new subscribe-able layers a la Google MyMaps, all within the next four months.
Case says the team is also building a means of integration with location based social networks like Foursquare that goes beyond what they offer today. Right now you can set Geoloqi to automatically check you in on Foursquare whenever you enter a particular pre-determined area. The next step will be for Geoloqi to notice that you've stopped moving around town and then send a notification prompting you to check in at one of the venues it guesses you're at.
"At some point, innovation comes from reducing the amount of clicks to get to some exciting goal," Case says. "With Foursquare you still have to load, wait, sometimes the overhead of clicking in is not worth it. The future of what we're in is a ubiquitous computing state where we get to focus on being human. The best interface is invisible. The manual-ness of Foursquare really needs to be automated and then it needs to do intelligent things like auto checking in."
The new Geoloqi API, just launched today, will allow third party developers to white label or integrate into their own apps any of the components of the service, including persistent tracking, location sharing, geofencing and geonotes.
Asked whether Geoloqi considers itself more of a B2C or a B2B company, Case said that time would tell which market showed the most uptake of the app and the API platform.
I've got my fingers crossed because I sure would like an API-centric, private, persistent location tracking platform to bloom into an ecosystem and make all my location dreams come true.