The holy grail of mobile geo-location services is persistent, aware, real-time data delivered straight to your device. It is incredibly difficult to pull off. Especially if the idea is to, “give you vision beyond the Greek gods.” Accuracy, battery life and location-aware push messaging are hard to build and even harder to implement on a scalable basis.
Portland-based startup Geoloqi thinks it can pull it off. The startup is aiming to give rich location data to enterprise and government customers through a release of a new SDK for Android and iOS an API. The idea is to turn complicated real-time location-aware data into a platform that developers can drop into any app.
Geoloqi’s goal is to disrupt the first generation of location services, according to founder Amber Case. That means the Foursquares of the world are put on notice. The Geoloqi platform will provide cross-platform SDKs that are mobile carrier agnostic. It can track location in real-time and provide analytics on users and their location data and history. Enterprises, retailers and government agencies can create geo-fences, push messages and visitor metrics.
Right: Amber Case
The biggest innovation for Geoloqi may be its battery saving properties. Case said that in a couple instances the company wrote the code that connects a device its backend infrastructure was written in binary code to make it as lightweight as possible.
“Some of the systems that we have added to build or extend out the systems we have to actually make it work, in some of the cases we have actually written it down in binary so we can actually get a small enough packet size off the phone connecting to the server so we can reduce the battery life drain and have less connections. The server architecture, which is a custom-server architecture is scalable to our base,” Case said.
After Geoloqi launched it rapidly found that its clientele was not going to be end-users and fellow mobile developers. Enterprises and government were the most interested parties because that is no easy system for creating location-aware real-time data.
“We are not selling an app, we are selling a platform system. So, if an enterprise or a retailer already has an app location, it just allows them to just plug it in and have location taken care of,” Case said. “People really wanted to add these aspects to their apps and carriers understood that their existing enterprise and government customers were asking for something more real time and they were not able to provide it. So, they started calling us up and asking for a sort of hybrid solution so they could better serve their existing customers.”
The dream of location-aware data is “The Starbuck Dilemma.” In the Starbuck scenario, a user walks by one of the popular coffee houses and their device will recognize where it is and send a push-notification to the user. It is a mix of geo-fencing, push and real-time marketing that is delivered straight to the user’s pocket. There is power in proximity marketing.
“The key story in this place is that I want to go by Starbucks and have a location-based message. That story has been there for 20 years but it is very difficult to implement,” Case said.
As a platform, the intention is for customers to build on top of Geoloqi to provide the type of data location that the first generation providers cannot deliver. The next step is to provide analytics on top of that and enable enterprises targeted marketing like never before.
“We are really focusing on enterprise. This might be a silly analogy but what Salesforce did for CRM, making it really easy and painless for the enterprise, we want to do that for the enterprise for location and really make a bridge between that old guard of location services and real time, much higher functionality, much higher resolution location services,” Case said.